Vulnerable Democrats announce last-ditch proposals to “mend” Obamacare

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Yesterday, in comments on Fox and Friends, Democrat pollster Celinda Lake basically created a new bumper sticker for Obamacare: Don’t defend it. Mend it.

Democrats seem to be taking heed, but is it because they want to do right by the American people, or simply save their butts in the next election?

As reported by The State, “six Senate Democrats Thursday unveiled proposals to make changes in the Affordable Care Act, the health care law under fire from conservatives and Republicans. Two senators, Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, are considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year as they face tough re-election efforts. Joining them in proposing new ideas for the health care law are Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D Mark Warner, D-Va., Angus King, Ind.-Maine and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.”

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Necessity is the mother of invention. These Senate Democrats know what’s at stake politically for them: maintaining the majority AND their political careers.

It has been four years since Obamacare was cast upon the American people.
Every single one of these Senate Democrats voted “yea” for this legislation and now all of a sudden they feel it needs to be mended. In reality, there is no law called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This “act” has gone through countless iterations of waivers, exemptions, and delays — some 34 as it happens — so it hardly resembles that which was passed and signed back in 2010.

Here is what the Senate Democrats are proposing:
  • Expanded Consumer Choice Act (S. 1729) to provide a new lower cost, high-deductible option called the Copper Plan, in addition to the existing Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze options. I guess the “affordable” part needs some help.
  • Increased Competition for Consumers Act (S. 1333) to restore startup funds for health care co-ops in order to provide options beyond traditional insurance companies and increase market competition.
  • Commonsense Competition and Access to Health Insurance to direct state insurance regulators to allow health insurance sales across state lines.
  • Small Business Tax Credits Accessibility Act to make Small Business Health Care Tax Credits available for a longer period of time and accessible to more employers.
  • Small Business Stability Act which expands the option for voluntary coverage to employers with fewer than 100 employees (rather than the current 50 employees)
  • Treating Families Fairly which counts family members working for the same business and on the same employer health plan as one full-time equivalent employee for the purposes of ensuring larger businesses offer coverage to their full time workers.
  • Consumers Having Options in Choosing Enrollment (CHOICE) Act which allows consumers to enroll directly through insurers or online in addition to (because those other options actually work)
  • Enhancing Access for Agents and Brokers Act gives access for agents and brokers to help families and small businesses enroll in health plans on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

I can guarantee with almost 100% certainty that most of these proposals are parallel to the countless House Republican proposals were passed and sent to the Senate. The paramount question is, will Senate Majority Leader “Scary” Harry Reid bring this to the floor for a vote? This is a desperate maneuver for these vulnerable Democrats and places President Obama in the untenable position of admitting that his signature domestic policy legislation is horrible flawed. This is all about politics, not policy. This is about Senate Democrats who want to stay in the majority and keep their political careers.

I will say, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W Va) does seem to be sincere in his desire to give the American people a better healthcare system. However, there are those supporting these initiatives who are only doing so because they face tough races for reelection

Do you agree? Is there sincerity here, or just more politics? Do you think Harry Reid will bring it to the Senate floor for vote? And do you think President Obama would sign this into law — whatever law means with this administration.
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