Multiple sources are reporting that a meeting between Congressional Democrats and the White House Staff earlier today got very, ugly.
Apparently members expected an idea of what fixes the White House was
going to offer to calm voters about loosing their plans but according to
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times, Administration official David Simas , delivered new talking points
instead of proposals for a substantial fix of the cancellation problem. House Democrats who have gone to the mat defending
Obamacare over the years went ballistic
One congressional Democrat who attended the meeting said senior Obama
administration officials Mike Hash and David Simas really “got hit” by
House Democrats about everything from the troubled website to the broken
presidential promise that people can keep the insurance plans they
“They’re telling us all about actuarial tables and all about how the process would work and all of this is fine and great and it would be great in a classroom and you would get an A on your test, but this isn’t about getting an A on your test, this is about ads,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, a Memphis liberal [referring to the anti-obamacare ads sure to be run by Cohn’s Republican challenger].
With each passing day there are new reports of thousands of people getting thrown off their plans, and voters are getting very angry. Reading the polls Democrats are pushing the administration to come up with remedies before this Friday, Nov. 15. That is when the House is scheduled to vote on the Republican bill.
“A lot of Democrats are very upset that this happened, No. 1, and urging for there to be an immediate fix for it,” Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., told reporters after the meeting. The Obama aides said the administration is working “24/7” on a solution, Murphy said.
Rep. Mike Doyle of Pittsburgh, an influential member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee told the administration officials that he would vote for the GOP bill if they couldn’t come up with better reasons for him to back the president, portending a dam-breaking vote on Friday if the White House can’t find a way to repair the damage it has suffered within the Democratic Caucus. He further suggested that if the White House can’t get the website fixed in time, the president will irreversibly lose the public’s trust on Obamacare, according to a source who was present.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), like Doyle a member of Pelosi’s inner circle, complained about White House efforts to portray insurance cancellation notices as affecting just a small percentage of the population.
“You say it’s only 5 percent,” Eshoo told Simas and Hash, “but it is much more than 5 percent in my district.”
There’s one major problem with a solution, anything that allows people to keep their existing plans, extends the mandate deadline or a later grandfather clause, will substantially raise the costs of the exchange plans and damage Obamacare even more than the President’s lie. it is doubtful Obama or Pelosi will allow that to happen.
“It’s ugly,” said one Democratic source in the meeting. “There’s no way Obama and Pelosi will let their legacy go down in flames. I just wouldn’t want to be from a swing district right now. Or anything that closely resembles one.”
Today’s meeting was just with the House, tomorrow White House aides get to meet with the Senate Democratic caucus.