Friendly fire from antsy Democrats:
Anger among Democrats over the rollout of ObamaCare is deep. The third aide, who works for a senator up for reelection in 2014, said the White House had “s--t the bed.” Now, the staffer said, the president’s sinking approval ratings are an additional problem. “Everyone recognizes that our electoral process is tied to the president’s standings,” the aide said. “I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to get the site working again.” During one recent caucus meeting, a few senators grumbled while McDonough sought to ease their discomfort. And one senator stood up and asked for a political point of contact at the White House. “No one really knows who to turn to over there anymore,” one Senate staffer explained. “No one knows who handles what. I think that’s part of the problem.”
Maybe this unnamed source is unusually cheesed off with the president because DC's exchange website broke down for Congressional staffers yesterday. In any case, Team Blue is deeply invested in the fallacy that once the tech issues get cleared up, Obamacare will magically rebound -- or at least fade as an issue. This is delusional. Republicans didn't run against Obamacare (and win) in 2010 based on dire predictions that Healthcare.gov would be a humiliating technological basketcase. That self-inflicted wound is political gravy for the GOP. They turned the public against the law by sounding the alarm that Obamacare would cost too much, dump people from their coverage, limit access to care, and raise premiums -- all of which were dismissed as vicious lies and smears by the law's backers. Oops. The website will get fixed eventually, although not before more awful snafus and failures harm a lot of people. But once that credibility-destroying chapter is finally over, the unfixable substance of the law will remain in place. A functioning website won't help Obamacare when premiums increase again next year, or when millions more Americans lose their existing coverage. If anything, Democrats are still supplying Republicans with fresh ammo for future use. Here's a CBS News clip from last week featuring several bytes of Jay Carney still assuring consumers on the employer-based market that they have nothing to worry about (scroll ahead to 1:30):
Come next year, this betray will scorch massive swath of the population. What new feeble spin will Harry Reid invent to try to explain that away? What will Democrats tell people like Joel Lund and his family:
"We're going to go from paying about $770 a month, which we were paying up until October, to about $1300. I don't see how that helped. From an emotional point of view, I don't think you can really prepare yourself for it. The unbelievable complexity of it. The lack of transparency of it. The horrific surprises."
Don't miss the interview near the end of the report with an insurance broker who says Lund's experience is pretty commonplace among her clients. "Anecdotes!" Unlike ordinary people like this, of course.