President Obama acknowledged Thursday that the problem-ridden rollout of open enrollment in the new health care law had hurt Democrats politically.
“There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they're running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin,” Obama said Thursday, announcing that insurers could allow customers to stay on cancelled plans for another year.
“I feel deeply responsible for making it harder for them rather than easier for them to continue to promote the core values that I think led them to support this thing in the first place,” he added.
Democrats in recent days have introduced separate bills that would allow Americans to keep insurance plans that don’t meet Obamacare standards.
Even after the White House announcement, some red-state Democrats said they still wanted a legislative fix because the president’s plan did not go far enough to help those facing a possible loss of medical coverage.
White House officials will meet with Democratic lawmakers Thursday in an effort to convince them to support the administration’s proposal.
The White House fears that a broader overhaul of the Affordable Care Act could undo the framework of the health blueprint altogether.
Obama’s message to Democrats Thursday: trust me.
“I met with a group of senators when this issue first came up … but you know, we made a decision as a society that every car has to have a seat belt or air bags,” he explained.
“There's some additional cost, particularly at the start, of increasing the safety and protections, but we make a decision as a society that the costs are outweighed by the benefits of all the lives that are saved,” he added.