By Jack Minor –
Democrats who preferred to see the federal government partially shut down rather than support Republican proposals to delay the law and implement changes to the healthcare system are now calling for some of these same things.
Six Democratic Senators came out and have said they are going to propose legislation that contains proposals such as allowing medical insurance to be sold across state lines and exempting employers with fewer than 100 employees from the mandate that they provide their workers health insurance or face a penalty.
Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; and Sen. Angus King, I., Maine, are behind the proposals.
Ironically, Republicans have long proposed the selling of insurance across state lines as a key way to reduce premium costs in much the same way care insurance is currently sold. Republicans have also called for eliminating the employer and individual mandate arguing the government has no right to force a company or individual to purchase a product.
Earlier this week the Obama administration, along with many state run exchanges announced they would be delaying the deadline for people to purchase medical insurance that meets the government’s approval or face a penalty. In Colorado, the state announced that anyone who starts the enrollment process before the deadline will have an unspecified amount of time to complete the application.
Last year, Republicans in Congress included a resolution to delay the individual mandate in much the same way the administration is now doing, for an entire year to make sure the system was running smoothly before going live.
Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused saying they would not permit any changes to me made to Obamacare and instead let the federal government partially shut down. As part of the shutdown, the administration took steps that appeared vindictive by blocking off roads leading to Mt. Rushmore on the off chance someone might see it while driving along the road as well as closing off the World War II Memorial in the National Park despite knowing a group of World War II veterans were already planning to come and view their memorial.
However, with even liberal supporters of the law such as Fox News co-host of the Five Bob Beckel admitting the implementation of Obamacare has been a disaster, vulnerable Democratic Senators now appear to be bucking the official party line that they should enthusiastically support the law have apparently decided they would rather buck the party than lose their seats.
The problem they face is the bill was passed by solely by Democratic votes, meaning their party owns the bill and the problems it has. Additionally it is unclear if Reid will allow the bill to come to a vote. The majority leader has frequently used procedural moves to prevent votes on any legislative changes to Obamacare including a bill that would keep a promise the president made repeatedly to the American people that if they liked their plan or doctor they could keep both.
The president has also said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk insisting that his executive orders changing the law are sufficient fixes.