There was plenty of handwringing Thursday by Senate Democrats who are feeling “anxious” over the Affordable Care Act’s turbulent rollout.
A piece in Friday’s edition of the New York Times captured the nervous mood by Democrats in the upper chamber, mere weeks after the party felt triumphant following an unpopular government shutdown caused by Republican intransigence.
“People are anxious,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said following a meeting involving Senate Democratic leaders and White House chief of staff Denis R. McDonough.
“I don’t think there’s confidence by anyone in the room,” admitted Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “This is more a show-me moment. We were all confident that the system was going to be up and operating on Oct 1. And now we’re not confident until it’s real.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) was terse.
“It’s not working well,” he said.
And then there was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has backed the GOP’s calls to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for a year. A Democrat who routinely undermines his party’s legislative priorities, Manchin echoed what he told TPM on Thursday in expressing doubt that the law’s problems can be resolved in a timely fashion.
“Everybody’s upset about the computer; you can’t get on,” Manchin said. “They’ll get through that. They better be worried about having a product at the end and being able to have adjustments to the product that really work.”