White House Changes 2014 Obamacare Enrollment So Voters Won’t Have Disaster In Mind During Senate Elections
November 25, 2013 by Sam Rolley
After months of damning news about the failed Obamacare rollout and a decision to eviscerate the power of the minority Party in the Senate, Democrats — especially those in Red States — up for re-election in 2014 are sweating. That could be why the Barack Obama White House confirmed last week that it would delay Obamacare’s second-year enrollment period — which is certain to highlight more flaws with the healthcare overhaul — until after the 2014 elections.
“Now that Senate Democrats have made this decision, it’s absolutely critical that we keep control of the Senate after the 2014 election,” Jim Manley, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told POLITICO last week. “What happened today reinforced the stakes that are at play.”
Many Democrats fear that the Nov. 4 election will become a vehicle for voters to take out their frustrations over Obamacare. The original 2014 sign-up period was scheduled from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, which would have left failures and sticker shock fresh on voters’ minds as they headed to the polls. Signups will now take place from Nov. 15 to Jan. 15, 2015.
“This is clearly a cynical political move by the Obama administration to use extra-regulatory, by any means necessary tools to keep this program afloat and hide key information from voters,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement.
“The Obama administration ought to answer for this shift,” he said. “The administration is welcome to prove me wrong by committing to put out 2015 plan year premium rates by November 1, 2014.”
If voters reject Democrats in 2014, lawmakers on the left side of the aisle could come to regret last week’s vote to limit the power of the Senate’s minority Party sooner than expected. Currently, Democrats hold 55 Senate seats to the GOP’s 45 seats — and Republicans are eyeing Democratic held seats in at least six States. If Republicans can muster a net gain of six seats, they will regain Senate control.