Vulnerable Senate Democrats Scramble to Pass 'Copper' Obamacare Plans
With pollsters across the spectrum showing Democrats in danger of losing the Senate due to the highly unpopular Obamacare program, vulnerable Senate Democrats and those from red states are scrambling to pass bills they hope will give them political cover from Obamacare.
Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA); Mark Begich (D-AK); Mary Landrieu (D-LA); Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND); Joe Manchin (D-WV); and Angus King (I-ME), an Independent who typically votes with Democrats, are all advancing the so-called Expanded Consumer Choice Act (S. 1729) which would add "Copper Plans" to Obamacare alongside existing Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze plans. The Copper Plans would offer lower premiums with much higher out-of-pocket costs – similar to some of the plans that were banned by Obamacare.
Conservatives, like David Hogberg of the National Center for Public Policy Research, pounced on the proposal.
"Last time I checked, people on the exchange were not crying out for more plans with even higher deductibles," wrote Hogberg.
Still, vulnerable Democrats like Landrieu hope offering Obamacare "fixes" will be enough to convince voters to give them another six years in the Senate.
"From some constituents I have picked up a few recommendations about how this law can work better," Landrieu told The Hill. "As I have said from the beginning, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect. No law is."
Democratic desperation hit a fever pitch this week as liberals' favorite pollster, Nate Silver, predicted there is a 60% chance Republicans will take back the Senate by winning at least six seats. Moreover, one Democratic member of Congress told the New York Times that President Barack Obama, who now has an all-time high 59% disapproval rating in the latest AP poll, has become "poisonous" for Democrats running in 2014.
Voters head to the polls in 222 days.