Obamacare: Shaheen meets with President; Ayotte speaks of ‘heart-wrenching’ NH casesBy JOHN DiSTASO
Senior Political Reporter
November 06. 2013 7:30PM
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was among 15 Democrats senators up for reelection next year who met with President Barack Obama Wednesday to reportedly “vent frustration” over the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.
At the same time, Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte spent more than 30 minutes on the Senate floor laying out examples of concerns she has received from Granite Staters over Obamacare.
“It breaks my heart,” Ayotte said.
CNN reported that “concerns about the impact of Obamacare on next year’s mid-term elections were a part of the reason” for the White House meeting, which also included Vice President Joe Biden.
“There would not have been this meeting if you didn’t have this group of Senators up in 2014,” CNN reported being told by “a Democratic staffer with knowledge of the meeting.”
As the HealthCare.gov website continues to be plagued by problems, Shaheen has led an effort to delay the enrollment period for Obamacare past the current March 31 deadline until the site is fixed. The White House so far has rejected the proposal.
After the meeting, Shaheen spokesman Shripal Shah told UnionLeader.com, “Senator Shaheen appreciated the chance to relay constituent feedback about the healthcare law’s implementation directly to the President. She continues to believe that we should extend the enrollment period to give people more time to sign up for insurance in light of the problems with HealthCare.gov.”
Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado was more blunt.
“I urged the President again to extend the enrollment period to give consumers enough time to make an informed decision about their family’s health insurance options,” he told CNN “I also told the President that, for the Affordable Care Act to succeed, consumers need to be confident their personal information is secure.”
Also attending the meeting was Sen. Michael Bennet, also of Colorado, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the party’s political organization that raises and spends money to get Democrats elected to the Senate.
Ayotte, meanwhile, read from emails and letters she has received from New Hampshire residents who said their insurance policies are being cancelled.
According to Ayotte’s office, “Many of the stories describe personal hardships that she called ‘heart-wrenching.’”
Ayotte also cited the New Hampshire Union Leader’s Wednesday report on cancelled policies.
“The headline announced that 22,000 individuals in New Hampshire will see coverage canceled at the end of the year,” she told the Senate.