WASHINGTON — A month after emerging from a government shutdown at the top of their game, many Democrats in Congress newly worried about the party's re-election prospects are for the first time distancing themselves from President Barack Obama after the disastrous rollout of his health care overhaul.

At issue, several Obama allies said, is a loss of trust in the president after only 106,000 people — instead of an anticipated half million — were able to buy insurance coverage the first month of the new "Obamacare" websites. In addition, some 4.2 million Americans received notices from insurers that policies Obama had promised they could keep were being canceled.

"Folks are now, I think in talking to members, more cautious with regard to dealing with the president," said Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and one of the first leaders in his state to endorse Obama's presidential candidacy six year ago.

Cummings, the White House's biggest defender in a Republican-controlled committee whose agenda is waging war against the administration over the attack in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, a gun-tracking operation and now health care, said he still thinks Obama is operating with integrity. But he noted that not all his Democratic colleagues agree.

"They want to make sure that everything possible is being done to, number one, be transparent, (two) fix this website situation and, three, to restore trust," Cummings said.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., like Cummings a prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus who personally likes Obama, struggled to describe the state of play between congressional Democrats and the president.

"I am trying to think if you can call it a relationship at this point," he said.

Clay said the administration is now obligated to "fix it, fix all of it" after Obama apologized this month for both the insurance website problems and his earlier promises that people could keep their old policies. Otherwise, he said, "a wide brush will be used to paint us all as incompetent and ineffective."

Obama is now allowing insurance companies to reissue their canceled policies for another year. But "Obamacare's" problems have left Democrats vulnerable to an orchestrated assault by Republicans who six weeks ago were on the losing end of the government shutdown.

The political body language tells the story of the strain. Thirty-nine House Democrats in Obama's party defied the president's veto threat and voted for a GOP-sponsored bill to permit the sale of individual health coverage that falls short of requirements in the law.

"I think people want to have a little more transparency going forward with whoever is implementing the website and other elements," said Jeff Link, senior adviser to Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley, who is running for Senate and voted for both the original health care law and the GOP-sponsored House bill this month. "If demanding that kind of transparency means lack of trust," he added delicately, "then I think people probably would like to have had more transparency."

Across the Capitol, several swing-state Senate Democrats have signed onto legislation to further weaken the health care law. Sponsored by Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who's facing a tough re-election challenge, the bill would require insurance companies to permanently continue selling policies that the law deems substandard. Landrieu herself skipped an event with Obama earlier this month when he appeared at the Port of New Orleans. She said she had a long-standing engagement elsewhere in the state, which Obama lost last year by 17 percentage points.

Repairing the relationship between Obama and his allies may be as complex as fixing the website and health care law. Much rests on rebuilding trust with the public, a solid majority of which now opposes "Obamacare," according to multiple polls. Both parties will be watching on Saturday to see whether the vast majority of those who try to sign up for policies on the website will succeed, as Obama has promised. Democrats have urged the administration to quit setting "red lines" like the Nov. 30 deadline, that carry the risk of being broken.

Nearly a year from the midterm elections, Republicans in both chambers are launching a drive to link virtually every congressional Democrat to Obamacare. In the House, the effort, based around dozens of votes to repeal the law, is about denying Democrats the 17-seat gain they would need to win back the majority. In the Senate, it's about gaining the six seats Republicans need to take control of that chamber.

"So you're running on Obamacare," read a faux tip sheet from House Republicans to House Democrats that went out over the holiday week. "The best thing to do," it advises Democratic lawmakers in 28 districts, "is step in front of the cameras and explain to voters why government should run their health care."

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, showed notable discipline last week when they complained loudly about the Democrats' new limits on filibusters — then pivoted in as little as one sentence back to "Obamacare."

The filibuster limits, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said, can be chalked up to "broken promises, double standards and raw power — the same playbook that got us Obamacare."

Democratic leaders scoff at the notion that missed deadlines and other problems could threaten the party's prospects 11 months down the road. A similar budget-and-debt fight that sparked the shutdown and smacked Republicans last month looms early next year, they point out. There is time, they insist, for the law to begin working as intended and to help elevate the Democrats' political prospects.

"Yesterday's battles and today's battles and tomorrow's battles create different environments," said House Democratic campaign chief Steve Israel, D-N.Y. Independent voters, the keys to elections in the most competitive districts in the country, are pragmatic, he added. "They want the Affordable Care Act not to be repealed, but to be fixed. They don't want to go back, they want to go forward."

(39) comments

vicdavy

Tea Party? That speaks volumes. The idea that the US can consist of 50 separate entities in the 21 st Century is a assumption that does NOT fit into reality. I guess you were a Reagan supporter? The typical stereotypical comment about the "tax and spend"was ironic because if you study history you will find that 70% of the National Debt was accrued under Republican Administrations. Teddy Roosevelt was the father of the Modern Progressive movement,so he probably would be a Social Democrat today.
I am a Social Democrat like Bernie Sanders. Apparently you believe in Social Darwinism,every man for himself. This mentality is what destroys societies and creates the Plutocracy we have today.,I prefer Democratic Capitalism. Good luck with your philosophy. Mine is,"The Needs of the Many outweighs the Needs of the few or the one." I am sure Ayn Rand is on your book shelf. I threw "Atlas Shrugged",in the trash right after I read it. Also, you sound like you are part of the,"Western Maryland Secessionist Movement". You seem intelligent,but we live in different realities with different priorities and perceptions.I am a citizen of the Earth while you an Island unto yourself.

griffeerw

Not all the current problems are Obama’s fault, but many of the current problems are Obama’s fault.
I do believe that government is the problem and not the solution. If the federal government were to constrain itself to it’s constitutionally mandated role it wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in today. The federal government is attempting to do way too much. The constitution states that states are supposed to perform a vast majority of the things that the federal government is taking on, such as education should be a state function, not a federal function. The feds shouldn’t be making loans or getting involved in education at all, i.e. do away with the Department of Education. Let’s also get rid of Freddie and Frannie Mac. Why does the National Park Service exist? The parks could be handled far more effectively by either a state or local government or by private enterprises such as Ducks Unlimtited or the Sierra Club. The functions that the federal government should be performing are National Defense, Establishing and monitoring treaties with other nations, immigration, and some minor law enforcement such as the FBI, U.S. Marshals and the such. In short let’s get back to the federal only performing functions that are outlined in the constitution. The recent “government shutdown” in which most federal agencies furloughed upwards of 90% of their employees goes to show just how bloated the federal government is. No private business could furlough 90% of it’s employees and survive.
There’s plenty of blame to go around on both parties, republican and democrat.
I happen to agree with the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the signing of NAFTA. There’s nothing wrong with competition. I agree with you that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t Bush’s best ideas. I disagree with you about the tax cuts. Allowing people to keep their hard earned money is never wrong. It is after all their money, not the government. They are the ones that sit on congested highways and work 40 or more hours a week.
Was the health insurance and healthcare system perfect before. Absolutely not. My problem is that Obamacare is just another federal government one size fits all solution. States such as Massa chutes, Hawaii, Tennessee, and others have been in the process of putting in place their own systems and the federal government shouldn’t be getting involved. It’s proven too many time just how incompetent and inept it is.
With regards to your statement about Teddy Roosevelt, He was a liberal republican and I don’t know where he might fit in today. While I may sound like I’m a republican I’m a member of the tea party. I don’t have a real fondness for either the republican party and especially not for the tax and spend democrat.
With regards to your question about Social Security and Medicare. Since I have paid into those systems for 42 years, yes I will take theh. If the government would give me the mony that I have contributed to them and let me opt out I definitely would. I would like nothing better than the federal and state government to leave me alone. I don’t want and don’t need there advise or assistance.

vicdavy

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02/15/a-long-list-of-president-obamas-accomplishments-with-citations/

Refute them

vicdavy

Your statistics are great,but the the simplistic conclusion that they are Obama's fault is where I disagree. You point to government as the problem alone,while the problem is much more complex then statistics. Corporate welfare and the influence of money in politics is the root of these problems. Clinton made some very bad decisions during his administration that caused much of the economic meltdown.Signing the repeal of Glass-Steagall and NAFTA were two huge mistakes.They have lead to job loses and outsourcing that have contributed to unemployment. The Financial corruption in the banking industry has been the key to the extraction of money from our country. To blame a corrupt system on Obama is ridiculous. Bush's mistakes(2 WARS,Tax cuts,Medicare Drug Plan) will last for generations. Trying to reform a broken healthcare insurance system and allow every American the right to healthcare that is affordable is a big job. Teddy Roosevelt proposed National Healthcare 100 years ago,he was a Republican. Of course, Teddy's progressive philosophy has no place in today's Republican Party. President Obama's mistake was trying to compromise with today's Republican Libertarian (any government is too much government) Party. we ended up with a hybrid Romneycare and Conservative system. Single payer Medicare for all would have been the way to go. I guess you would scream Socialism,right. Are you going to turn down Social Security and Medicare when you're eligible,probably not. Look at the cost of Healthcare in this country as compared to every other developed in the world and the outcomes and you will realize that Free Market Capitalism has it problems. Profit for sickness is not exactly a humane system. Their are so many demographic issues with an aging population and profit driving college system,but that is another issue which I could spend many pages writing about. The America people are to blame ultimately. Egocentric Narcissism has been behind the American Dream for decades.
Keeping up with the "Jones" and consumerism is become our major industry. The American appetite for "stuff" was taken advantage of by captains of vulture capitalism who's ethics became secondary to the profit motive. Obama is like a man on the hill trying to stop a "Snowball" of systemic corruption. So,if you want to blame Obama for everything,feel free, it's your right as an American. But I think you're not seeing the forest(Corporate Feudalism) for the tree(President Obama).

griffeerw

vicdavy. It would be nice if you could enter into an honest intelligent debate instead of a sandbox debate. Fact. The "recovery?" we have experienced has been the weakest in modern history. We have been lucky to get 2% GDP growth! Previous recoveries had growth of 4 to 6% and as a matter of fact the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery, that is until this one. Fact: Unemployment is still at 7.3%. According to Obama we were supposed to be around 5.5% now. Fact: The U6 numbers on the BLS website are the worst since WW2. Fact: Employment growth has averaged about 300,000 of which 78% have been part time jobs.Fact: For 2012 the GAO reported that the federal government lost $261 billion in waste, fraud, and abuse. Fact: Under Obama the middle class has shrunk with more people sinking into the lower class than the upper class. Fact: Businesses report they are unwilling to expand because of economic uncertainty, high taxes, and Obamacare. Fact: The foodstamp role is at 47 million, roughly 1 in 7. FACT: More students graduating from school are unable to find full time employment than in any other "recovery" in modern history.

So much for Obama's promises of focusing like a laser on jobs and the economy and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. He also promised to reduce the federal deficit. Matter of fact he said that he would cut it in half. Sort of sounds like his promise about if you like your healthcare policy, you can keep you healthcare policy.

Obama is the best example of the joke, "How can you tell when a politician is lying?" Answer: "Their lips are moving."[smile][rolleyes]

vicdavy

You who blame Obama for being the worst President should look in the mirror because the reason you Conservatives believe this is you are the least heuristically educated and aware segment of the population.

griffeerw

For those of you who are Obamacare fans, which probably isn't many, here is a link to a Washington Post article about the less than fabulous rollout of Maryland's website. Obamacare is the failure that just keeps on getting worse!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marylands-health-exchange-needs-a-doctor/2013/11/27/512ddfb6-561e-11e3-835d-e7173847c7cc_story.html

It used to be we programmers and engineers said "Garbage in, Garbage out". That's been changed to "Government in, Garbage out"

Comment deleted.
vicdavy

Sanker,after calling the President a Socialist,you're calling him a liar? Look up the term and get educated.

thump1202

A group of MIT students built a working website in 3 days. The federal government has been unable to build a working website in over 3 years. Federal government is absolutely incompetent and complete slaves to lobbyists and inept management. R like to criticize D but have no real solutions and do no better than D when they are running the show. It's time for all voters to become informed and vote in politicians who aren't slaves to their campaign financing benefactors. Every president we have is worst and worst, the federal government has become nothing more than a gravy train.

vicdavy

[thumbup]

griffeerw

I really do wish people would get away from the race of the president. It is fair to criticize him for his poor performance, lack of leadership, and socialist, redistributionist views, but this has nothing to do with his race!

vicdavy

Since what you just said is total NEOCON propaganda,what else are we to think?griffee

edelnardo

Democrats are only distancing themselves from Obama because he is black. What a bunch of racists.

experienced

If, or when you voted, had he be white, would you had still voted for him?

vicdavy

Yes I would have voted for him if he was pocka dotted,because he is a 21st Century MAN, not a Warmonger like McCann and an airhead like Palin. I am sure you voted for "W" twice,right?

griffeerw

If I did vote for "W" twice it was because I felt that he was more qualified for the office than the other candidates. See the way I determine who I believe will be best in office is not by their campaign speeches, but by their records in office. Anyone that examined Obama's record in the Illinois state senate and the U.S. senate could have seen that he was nothing but a liberal mouth-piece of the democratic party. He has demonstrated time after time that he is not a leader. See, a real leader like either Reagan or Clinton doesn't cry and whine about their "obstructionist" opposition. They work with their opposition and compromise and include them. Obama had it easy in his first term because he was able to steamroller the republicans since the dems controlled both the house and the senate. Since losing the house in 2010 all he has been able to do is whine and cry about obstructionist republican. Reagan worked across party lines with Tip O'Neil to get ax reform, a strong national defense and many other things. To Clinton's credit he worked with Gingrich and the republican controlled senate to balance the budget as well as do other things beneficial for the american people.

Reagan and Clinton were real leaders. Obama is just another incompetent, inept government politician!

To bad all Obama can do is whine and cry. He is not a leader in any form of the word. To be honest, I don't even think he's a good follower!

griffeerw

I made a mistake in my post above. "Reagan worked across party lines with Tip O'Neil to get ax reform, a strong national defense and many other things." should be "Reagan worked across party lines with Tip O'Neil to get tax reform, a strong national defense and many other things." I hit enter before I noticed the T was missing.

Comment deleted.
NASCARLOVER

OK, now you're starting to sound exactly like formerfcps....[wink]

Comment deleted.
NASCARLOVER

The "Administration" did not build the webpage!!

griffeerw

Also, for those of you interested, there is a challenge to Obamacare working it's way through the courts that holds promise to declaring it unconstitutional. It is Sissel vs HHS I believe. It is a challenge based on the origination clause of the constitution.

The origination clause states that bills having to do with taxes and revenues originate in the House of Representatives, the house closest to the people.

Obamacare didn't originate in the House. It originated in the Senate. The bill was passed from the Senate to the House. The House, at that time controlled by the dems, stripped language from an existing bill and inserted the Senate language and passed the Senate bill, as it was from the Senate.

The House couldn't make any changes to the Senate bill because if they did it would have meant the bill would have had to go to conference and then be voted on by both chambers again and most likely would have failed because Senator Kennedy's seat was being filled by Republican Scott Brown.

Constitutional scholars, not including the supposed constitutional scholar in the white house, are divided on this challenge.

I have great hope that when this reaches the Supreme Court they will do the right thing and declare Obamacare Unconstitutional. The way the dems passed the bill not only violated the spirit of the what our founding fathers meant in the constitution but the letter of law as well, in my opinion!

And no, I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV either. This is from reading the constitution and related federalist papers and applying common sense.

griffeerw

In my opinion Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with something that government doesn't seem to understand. That's "common sense" legislation.

No one I know argues that some parts, such as the discrimination ban on per-existing conditions and allowing children up to age 26 is properer. What is not right is for the government to rob the american people of their right to determine what type of insurance policy and how much they should pay for it.Just because the government says that a policy is "substandard", doesn't make it so. I guess the democratics missed biology or sex ed the day they discussed the fact men don't have babies and therefore don't need pre-natal and obstetrics care.

In creating the bill the dems also didn't include things that could reduce cost such as tort reform and the ability of insurance companies to sell across state lines, although that's because dems are beholden to trial lawyers and don't know how businesses run so they don't know about competition. Also, these were republican ideas that make sense.

The website failure is just a small example of the failure of this bill.

A larger failure is the fact that more people are losing their existing coverage in the individual and small business markets than are getting coverage. Obama is showing that he is willing to sacrifice the many that had coverage for those that didn't.

Also, I believe in the future, as with all government programs we will see Obamacare add to the deficit. This is something that Obama promised wouldn't occur but will ultimately occur.

Why is it when we continue to see time after time the continued incompetence of the government to perform, we continue to allow the government to take on more and more responsibility. It's time to drastically reduce the size and scope of government. Not increase it! We need to strip the government of it's power and control of our lives.

There are so many ways that this bill is such a failure, that the only way to correct the problem is to repeal the law and replace it with smaller "common sense" legislation. Maybe this time both parties will read and understand the bills they consider before just passing the bills.

Comment deleted.
jacksback

Your comments indicate that the President of the USA, duly elected two times by the majority of Americans, white, black, yellow, red and whatever else you hate, already has YOU by the jugular. If you don't like the results of elections you can vote with your feet and move to someplace where most people think like you.

Comment deleted.
jacksback

This just shows what can happen when all the people pull together and work for a common good. Can you imagine what would have been the result of WW II if the present day republican obstructionists were around then??? Scary...

jacksback

What bothers me more that all this rhetoric is the fact that the "great right wing conspiracy" has undertaken to usurp voters rights in many states. Does anyone ask why it is that only republican controlled states are the ones repealing and enacting laws to suppress their voters rights??? Could it be that the past two elections have awaken them to the fact that they are in the minority now and will never, repeat never, regain a majority of the voters nationwide to their agendas. I love their motto: "Out of my cold dead hands". Well, if that's what you really want keep putting forth the preachers and politicians your presenting now and you'll surely get your wish.

griffeerw

I can only assume that the "suppression" of voters rights that the writer is speaking about is the laws that many republican controlled states want to enact that would require picture id in order to vote.

In my opinion with the amount of voter fraud that occurs each election and to protect one of our basic rights, this is not suppression of voting rights but protection of voting rights. One of the things that liberals and those of the mindset of this writer fail to address is the fact that in order to enter a government building, cash a check, get welfare or foodstamps, get on a plane, and/or do a lot of other things, one needs a picture id. Why shouldn't we require a picture id to vote? Also all states that I know of will provide a photo ID at cost or free.

The quote "Out of my cold dead hands" that the writer refers to deals with the second amendment and the constant attack by liberals on law abiding citizens rights to bears arms. If you look at the laws that the dems have attempted to pass, they only continue to infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens, not on criminals. After all criminals don't care what the laws are. That's why they're criminals. Many like myself believe that we have enough laws on the books that restrict law abiding citizens and that we would be better off enforcing the laws on the books and not passing new laws that the government will fail to enforce.

vicdavy

Conservative Xmas song,"I Dreaming of a White Xmas"

public-redux

Look at the headline, FNP! No x in Democrats.

public-redux

Wow, that was fast.

Sanker

“It’s really pitiful that our first “African American” president will be judged in history as the most inept, corrupt, wasteful, subversive, destructive and divisive president ever. A man twice elected because of the color of his skin rather than the content of his character.”

public-redux

Who are you quoting?

Sanker

Dated 3 Oct; On Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto” on Wednesday, computer programmer and founder of McAfee, Inc. John McAfee said the online component of Obamacare “is a hacker’s wet dream” that will cause “the loss of income for the millions of Americans who are going to lose their identities.”

For starters, McAfee said the way it is set up makes it possible for fake websites be set up to fool people to think they’re signing up for Obamacare.

“It’s seriously bad,” McAfee said. “Somebody made a grave error, not in designing the program but, in simply implementing the web aspect of it. I mean, for example, anybody can put up a web page and claim to be a broker for this system. There is no central place where I can go and say, ‘OK, here are all the legitimate brokers, the examiners for all of the states and pick and choose one.’”

“Instead, any hacker can put a website up, make it look extremely competitive, and because of the nature of the system — and this is health care, after all — they can ask you the most intimate questions, and you’re freely going to answer them,” he continued. “What’s my Social Security number? My birth date? What are my health issues?”

According to McAfee, there’s not a quick fix — and as long as it set up this way, it could be a playground for computer hackers.

“Here’s the problem: It’s not something software can solve,” McAfee continued. “I mean, what idiot put this system out there and did not create a central depository? There should be one website, run by the government, you go to that website and then you can click on all of the agencies. This is insane. So, I will predict that the loss of income for the millions of Americans who are going to lose their identities — I mean, you can imagine some retired lady in Utah, who has $75,000 dollars in the bank, saving her whole life, having it wiped out in one day because she signed up for Obamacare. And believe me, this is going to happen millions of times. This is a hacker’s wet dream. I mean I cannot believe that they did this.”

mikewoolsey

The Rules-of-Engagement for IT Healthcare are far more complicated than anything we deal with, when compared to our military or defense. No one state or healthcare system operate on the same platform, database configuration, etc. etc.

"Sanker," is merely pointing out a serious flaw or concern. In reality, it could take 20 years to actually make sense of all of this........

Perhaps the no bid contract for web design awarded to one of Mooch's college pals should be investigated. That Canuck company has had other problems. I've been asking myself for years if Obama is a bumbling incompetent or a designing Marxist. I think it is now clear that he is both. It is clear he lied, and for years, based on internal emails.

This is why a nation should not elect someone without any accomplishment whatsoever even if they like his skin hue or smile. He can thank the dumbing -down of education and Immigration Acts of '64-65 for his wins. Does anyone wonder why some want to flood voting rolls with uneducated peasants via amnesty? They'll vote for Dem promises of entitlements over the greater good.

Will we ever really cover from this, divided as we are? And what a bunch of crapola from AP; the press, as we know it deserves to fade away, having forsaken the standards they once upheld.

vicdavy

Sanker, It might be a good idea to research your sources better. John McAfee,really?
He is a fugitive from justice and a murder suspect and admitted he doesn't even like his own Anti-Virus software. I stopped using it years ago because it causes problems.
The man has proven to be unethical opportunist. Look it up.

jacksback

You would quote Mcafee???? You might have wanted to check out his creds before placing such trust in his opinions... Just saying.

recordhigh

How are the issues mentioned in this article any different than the issues with bank or shopping websites, for example? Or insurance websites before the ACA?

president8444

Dems win with false promises as Obama.

experienced

Obama and Dems win, with false promises. I think?[wink]

NASCARLOVER

Take your Thorazine[sad]

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