POLITICS: PennAve

Jay Carney: Obamacare 'absolutely worth it' despite political fallout

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health Care,2014 Elections,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Jay Carney

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that passing Obamacare was the right decision, regardless of any political fallout for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections.

“This is not about politics. So the answer is, it is absolutely worth it, no matter what happens politically,” said Carney in an interview aired on ABC's “This Week” on Sunday, when he was asked about the prospect of the health care law costing Democrats control of the Senate.

Support for President Obama and his signature domestic achievement dropped after the botched rollout of the law's new insurance exchanges in October. The healthcare.gov website was plagued with technical issues and the administration was forced to delay key enrollment deadlines to bolster their numbers.

The White House said that 3 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare insurance plans, but that figure is behind their 7 million target for the end of March.

Only a quarter of the enrollees are young people, below the administration’s 40 percent goal, another worry for the White House. Young, healthier consumers are needed to offset older and sicker Americans who are expected to sign up for Obamacare.

Republicans believe that Obamacare will be a winning issue for them in 2014, and many Democrats have expressed concerns about the fallout from the botched rollout.

Carney, though, said that Republicans were overplaying their hand.

“I just disagree that Republicans are going to have a winning issue on this, if they decide to run on it, because they've got to explain what repeal means,” he said.

House GOP lawmakers have voted repeatedly to defund or repeal the law, but the White House insists that as more Americans benefit from Obamacare, support will grow.

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