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  • aceofbasefanatic aceofbasefanatic Nov 5, 2013 6:24 PM Flag

    Democrats' Anxiety Grows Over Obamacare Problems

    When a loyal leader on your own team says there is a “crisis of confidence” surrounding your signature initiative, you’ve got trouble.

    That’s the phrase Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland used repeatedly Tuesday morning to describe the rollout of the new health care law as she questioned Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the health agency tasked with overseeing the law’s implementation.

    “I believe that there’s been a crisis of confidence created in the dysfunctional nature of the website, the canceling of policies, and sticker shock from some people,” said Mikulski, who has generally been a strong ally of the administration.

    She cited a news report that 73,000 people in her own state are getting cancellation notices, “so there has been fear, doubt and a crisis of confidence” — and she’s worried people, particularly the young, won’t enroll as a result.

    Indeed, the Affordable Care Act’s website woes, combined with millions facing the cancellation of their individual policies despite President Barack Obama’s assurances that would not happen, have put Hill Democrats in an increasingly awkward position — with no easy way out.

    After celebrating their victory over the GOP during the government shutdown by sticking firm on Obamacare, vulnerable Hill Democrats are now looking for cover.

    The White House now is in a race to fix the problems before demands within the Democratic Party for legislative fixes become overwhelming — either in the form of a proposal by Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia for a one-year delay in the individual mandate or Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu’s new proposal to keep grandfathered plans online instead of generating more cancellation notices.

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