- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top House Democrats marked Obamacare’s fourth anniversary by declaring it a political “winner” in congressional swing districts, despite a high-profile recent loss for the party in Florida and votes to water down the law by dozens of their colleagues.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland also said there is no proof the premiums will rise because of the law and accused GOP donors of feeding a “misinformation campaign” about the overhaul to the detriment of the American people.

“The plural of anecdote is not data,” Mrs. Pelosi said, referring to the tales of Obamacare woe spread by Republican rivals. “We can talk about who says what, but the facts will speak for themselves.”

She made her pitch as the White House and its allies scramble to get people covered in state-based health insurance markets set up by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The deadline to sign up is March 31.

But Republicans insisted that four years after its passage, Obamacare is a clear failure.

“Despite repeated assurances from the Democrats who forced this law through Congress, Obamacare has led to higher premiums, fewer choices and enormous complications even for people who already had insurance,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said. “It’s forced painful choices for people who could barely get by as it was.”

Some Democrats are clearly nervous about the law’s wobbly rollout ahead of November’s elections. 

Vulnerable Senate Democrats have urged the White House to extend the enrollment period or let people keep bare-bones coverage in perpetuity, while dozens of House Democrats have voted alongside the GOP majority to delays the law’s mandates or otherwise tweak the law.

Pre-election jitters ramped up this month, when Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a special election in Florida to fill the House seat vacated by late GOP Rep. Bill Young. It was considered the first test case of Obamacare’s impact ahead of the 2014 midterms this fall.

Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Van Hollen downplayed the Florida result on Thursday, saying deep-pocketed donors like the industrialist Koch brothers are using “secret money” to distort the law’s impact.

“This isn’t about politics, this is about helping America,” Mrs. Pelosi said.


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