Obamacare website woes could help GOP: McCain
By John Whitesides, ReutersWASHINGTON--The troubled launch of Democratic President Barack Obama's health care website could give Republicans a chance to regain some of the political ground they lost during the recent government shutdown, Republican Senator John McCain said on Monday.
October 23, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The Arizona senator, a vocal critic of conservative Republicans who held up government funding for 16 days while demanding changes to Obama's health care law, said the federal shutdown was devastating to many people in his state. Republicans “have our work cut out for us” to improve their image after polls indicated that more Americans blamed them for the fiscal impasse, he said.
But the problems associated with the rollout of the online insurance exchanges at the heart of “Obamacare” have raised questions about the government's readiness to help insure millions of Americans who have no health coverage. They also have given Republicans a chance to claim that some of their criticisms of the health care law have been validated.
“Obamacare's failures may soften this blow” for Republicans, McCain, the party's 2008 presidential nominee, told the Reuters Washington Summit. “The debacle that is associated with Obamacare is quickly going to capture the attention of Americans all over the country.”
Obama held an event in the White House's Rose Garden on Monday to try to stem the political damage from the problems on the healthcare.gov website, which include error messages and long waits for many of those looking for information about insurance coverage options under Obamacare.
The difficulties with the health care law have quickly turned the public debate away from the federal shutdown and near government default, a political stalemate that was stoked by tea party conservatives led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.