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In dribs and drabs, moderates and liberals, endangered incumbents and lawmakers with safe seats alike are working to get on the right side of increasingly sour public opinion on President Barack Obama’s landmark domestic achievement.
They are drafting legislation to alter the law, requesting investigations into how the technology contractors could have bungled things so badly and demanding private briefings and public hearings on ways the rollout went wrong. The moves are all an attempt to insulate themselves from attacks before the 2014 elections puts a group of vulnerable Democrats before voters increasingly upset about their health care.
This, for now, is Senate Democrats’ message: We passed a good bill and the administration messed it up.
”If you can’t take constructive criticism as truly being helpful and you think it’s being harmful, then we’re going to have problems,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said, referring to the Obama administration.
Senate Democrats should be the White House’s natural allies on Obamacare, helping to spread the message that the program’s policies will soon be fixed and that the law is good for the country. And while none are criticizing the underlying legislation of Obamacare, some Democrats are acting out against the administration, frustrated by the messy roll-out and fearing that voters will likely hold them responsible for the administration’s gaffes.