Every single Senate Democrat up for re-election next year attended a previously unscheduled meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama on Wednesday, where they vented their frustrations with the law’s troubled rollout.
The meeting lasted about two hours, according to a Senate aide. All 15 Senate Democrats up for re-election attended the meeting, along with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
Several senators released statements after the meeting. They made it clear that they vented their concerns and frustrations with the shaky rollout of the dysfunctional website, HealthCare.gov, as well as other long-held promises that have been broken.
“The rollout of HealthCare.gov has not been smooth — to say the least — and I shared the concerns of Coloradans directly with the president,” Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said in a statement.
“Consumers should have the time they need to shop for a plan and enroll after the widespread problems with the website are fixed. 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.”
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election, said there is a “crisis in confidence” with the White House.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable in this day and age that the administration can’t deliver on the promises it made to all Americans because of technical problems with a website. Alaskans should be appreciating the critical benefits of the Affordable Care Act but there is an understandable crisis in confidence because the administration has yet to get it off the ground.”
The White House said in a readout of the meeting that its purpose was to “hear their input on existing challenges with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
Here’s a list of the senators who attended:
- Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
- Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
- Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.)
- Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
- Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.)
- Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)
- Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
- Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
- Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
- Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
- Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
- Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
- Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
- Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
- Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.)
- Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
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