Quantcast
Latest Stories

For Obama, health care law’s problems may linger


In this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo President Barack Obama, standing with supporters of his health care law, speaks in the White House Rose Garden in Washington about the problem ridden rollout of his health care overhaul. For nearly five years, Republicans have struggled to make a scandal stick to Obama’s White House. One by one, the controversies with shorthand names like Solyndra, Benghazi, and Fast and Furious, hit a fever pitch, then faded away. But the disastrous rollout of his signature health care law may be a problem with the kind of staying power Republicans have sought. AP

WASHINGTON  — For nearly five years, Republicans have struggled to make a scandal stick to President Barack Obama’s White House. One by one, the controversies faded away.

But some Republicans see the disastrous launch of Obama’s health care law, the landmark legislation of his time in office, as a problem that could linger.

The effort to bring widespread health insurance coverage to the only major developed country without a national health care system has been unpopular with many Americans, and opposition Republicans have fought hard to kill what’s called Obamacare.

Now Republicans are focusing on the many problems with the federal government website that’s meant to help uninsured Americans sign up for health care coverage.

Administration officials blamed the problems that began with the site’s Oct. 1 launch on high volume, but have since acknowledged more systemic issues with HealthCare.gov. A management consultant brought in to assess the problems has said the vast majority of the issues will be resolved by the end of November.

The White House is also dealing with another mess that could have long-lasting implications: U.S. government spying on foreign leaders. The scope of the surveillance programs was first made public in June, and the revelations keep coming.

But unlike with the health law, many Republicans support the government surveillance policies, making it more difficult for the opposition party to create a political furor.

For Republican lawmakers, the White House’s health care website’s problems have come at an opportune time, just one week after their strategy to shut down the government in exchange for concessions on the health care law failed.

Now the opposition hopes to use the latest problems with the health care system to build momentum before next year’s congressional elections, where many Democrats had hoped to point to the health care program as a reason to keep them in office.

Republicans have scheduled a series of congressional hearings on the health care program’s shortcomings, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is set to testify this coming week before a House of Representatives committee.

Anxiety about the website’s problems also appears to be on the rise among members of the president’s own party. Ten Democratic senators have urged Sebelius in a letter to extend the insurance enrollment window beyond the March 31 deadline.

A CBS News survey taken last week found that 43 percent of Americans approve of the health care law, compared with 35 percent in May.

Crisis management expert Eric Dezenhall said that if the White House wants to prevent the current troubles from becoming a long-term problem, it will have to do some basic damage control.

On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began holding daily briefings to address technical problems with the website, though many issues still remain shrouded from the public.

Republicans are turning to a familiar tactic, congressional hearings.

Dezenhall said that while investigations may help Republicans do some damage to the health care law, “there’s a difference between roughing up your enemy and defeating them.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Barack Obama , Democrats , Health care , obamacare , Republicans , United States , White House




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap
Advertisement

News

  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • UST posts twin kill in Filoil pre-season cup opening day
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement