Dems Defend Obamacare After Defections On House Vote

After 39 House Democrats voted for a Republican bill that would allow insurers to renew individual marketplace plans canceled under the new law and sell them to new customers, Democratic leaders on Sunday defended President Obama’s health care law.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stood by the law on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” noting that Democrats who voted for the Republican bill only did so for political reasons.

“I have full confidence, as do my members, however they voted on this,” Pelosi said about Democrat support for the health care law.

“This is political. They respond politically,” she said of Democrats supporting changes to the law.

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the No. 3 Democrat in the House, said on Sunday that recent backlash against the health care law is a result of rollout glitches, not major problems with the law itself.

“This is a rollout problem. This is not a values problem,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

He added that “we tend to react to soundbites a little too often,” noting that Obama needed to better explain his “soundbite” that consumers could keep their plan if they liked it.

Clyburn said he is not holding votes for the Republican bill against any Democrats.

“I don’t blame anybody for insulating themselves from these soundbites,” he said. “That’s the world that we live in.”

When asked if the President could regain America’s trust after he did not fulfill his promise about everyone being able to keep their plans, Clyburn said that Obama can bounce back.

“When you lose something, you can find it again,” Clyburn said. “And the President admitted he expects to be held responsible for regaining the Americans’ trust. He will.”

Pelosi said that Americans will also come to support the law and the federal exchange. She said that the Affordable Care Act should not be judged solely on the low enrollment numbers in the first month.

“It’s not acceptable ongoing,” she said of enrollment. “The measure will be how many more people can sign up, how many fewer mistakes and glitches and again the shortening of the time for people to get on.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Sunday echoed Pelosi and Clyburn on Obamacare.

“It’s a fixable problem,” she said about implementation of the law.

She added that the policies that were canceled, were likely bad ones.

“He should have just been more specific, because the point is if you’re offered by a terrible health care plan that the minute you get sick, you’re going to have to go into bankruptcy, those plans should never be offered,” Gillibrand said.