They express their dismay that information is coming out way too soon, and folks won’t have enough details to make an informed -or any- decision. What they’re really worried about is the backlash that will hit the Dem-controlled Senate when people find out their premiums are going to skyrocket (see Dem Senator Wyden’s comments at the end of the quote).
Healthcare reform should be the signature Democratic achievement of President Barack Obamas presidency.
But with “Obamacare” five months from show time, Democrats are worried about whether enough Americans will sign up to make the sweeping healthcare overhaul a success – and what failure might mean for Congress heading into the 2016 presidential race.
Some of the law’s main advocates fear that not enough of Americas 49 million uninsured will know about health coverage offered in their own states. Even if they do, new insurance plans may not be attractive to young, healthy consumers needed to offset an expected influx of older and sicker patients.
Only a handful of states are beginning campaigns to promote the online health insurance marketplaces created by the law. Known as exchanges, the markets will offer private coverage at federally subsidized rates to individuals and families with low-to-moderate incomes, with enrollment set to begin October 1.
The federal government has kept quiet about its promotion plans, which are expected to begin in earnest over the summer. While Obama and his administration say they are working nonstop on reform, analysts believe a poor performance could make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a big enough campaign issue in 2014 to jeopardize Democratic control of the Senate – particularly if insurance costs rise sharply.
“There is reason to be very concerned about whats going to happen with young people. If their insurance premiums shoot up, I can tell you, that is going to wash into the United States Senate in a hurry,” said Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat.