OBAMA

The Washington Times Daily - - Pol­i­tics -

Wed­nes­day showed that con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans have erased a 9-point deficit in six weeks in a generic con­gres­sional bal­lot ques­tion, and are run­ning even with Democrats. One of the main devel­op­ments in the past six weeks was the roll­out of Oba­macare on Oct. 1.

Some Democrats say they were em­bold­ened by for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s call Tues­day for Mr. Obama to make good on his “you can keep-your plan” prom­ise even if it re­quired leg­isla­tive changes to the health care law.

Among the law­mak­ers who chal­lenged ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials in the pri­vate meet­ing, Democrats said, were Rep. Michael F. Doyle, Penn­syl­va­nia Demo­crat, and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, a close ally of Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, a fel­low Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat. Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials tak­ing the brunt of crit­i­cism were David Si­mas, deputy se­nior ad­viser to the pres­i­dent, and Mike Hash, di­rec­tor of the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment’s of­fice of health care re­form.

The most ur­gent po­lit­i­cal chal­lenge for House Democrats is sched­uled for Fri­day, when they will have to vote on a plan by Rep. Fred Up­ton, Michi­gan Repub­li­can, that al­lows peo­ple to keep health care poli­cies they like. Sev­eral law­mak­ers warned the ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials that the White House must of­fer them a way out of the predica­ment be­fore that vote.

Mr. Car­ney said the Up­ton bill isn’t ac­cept­able be­cause it would “al­low in­sur­ers to sell new plans that were sub­stan­dard, that did not meet the min­i­mum ben­e­fit stan­dard of the Af­ford­able Care Act, and thereby po­ten­tially un­der­mine … the cen­tral prom­ise of the Af­ford­able Care Act.”

Se­nate Democrats are sched­uled to meet Thurs­day at the White House to urge the ad­min­is­tra­tion to come up with a so­lu­tion.

Asked about the Quin­nip­iac poll’s find­ings that a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans for the first time find Mr. Obama un­trust­wor­thy, Mr. Car­ney said Wash­ing­ton as a whole is suf­fer­ing from the fall­out of the gov­ern­ment shut­down and other fail­ures.

“There is no ques­tion that the dys­func­tion in Wash­ing­ton that the Amer­i­can peo­ple have seen is tak­ing its toll on ev­ery­one,” Mr. Car­ney said. “And while the pres­i­dent’s rat­ings are low for him, they’re sky high in com­par­i­son with Congress, and in par­tic­u­lar Repub­li­cans in Congress. That’s not sat­is­fac­tory to us, only be­cause it re­flects a feel­ing among the Amer­i­can peo­ple that this place is not work­ing for them.”

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