Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid signaled Tuesday that he won’t allow any votes to undo parts of Obamacare, leaving Democrats to have to face voters in November without any chance for a do-over on thorny issues such as the individual mandate.
Asked if he was afraid he was putting vulnerable Democrats in danger, Mr. Reid said he stands by the Affordable Care Act and wants to see it through as-is.
“The law is moving forward the way it was intended,” the Nevada Democrat told reporters at his weekly press briefing.
Every vulnerable Democrat up for re-election this year voted for the Affordable Care Act in 2009, and early on they took repeated votes to shoot down GOP efforts to undo parts of the law.
But that was before Oct. 1, when the enrollment period began — and along with it, reports of the glitchy HealthCare.gov website, and consumers who saw their existing plans canceled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s standards.
In the six months since then, Mr. Reid has refused attempts to hold votes on proposals to halt or undo parts of the health care law — including several bills sponsored by members of his own party.
“The majority leader is sacrificing his own members,” Mr. Boehner said.
He said Mr. Reid is trapped — if he allowed votes on some of the proposals, “they’d probably pass,” which would punch holes in Obamacare.
“He’s got a number of members who’d love to vote for those. And so it’s pretty clear to me that he’s protecting the president so these don’t get to his desk,” Mr. Boehner said.
Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insisted the health care law will be a “winner” for Democrats in November’s election.
But a number of her most vulnerable members have voted for various delays and carve-outs, suggesting they aren’t as comfortable with it as she is.
Mr. Reid, meanwhile, hasn’t given his troops that same opportunity.
He said that with a recent surge in Obamacare enrollments, the final number will be nearly 7 million. That was the initial target laid out by analysts.
But enrollment doesn’t mean all of those people have paid their premiums to get insurance. And Republicans say many of those 7 million are people who had plans but lost them under Obamacare’s new rules — meaning that they aren’t newly insured.