With Obamacare website HealthCare.gov now demonstrating vastly improved performance compared to its disastrous Oct. 1 debut, Senate Democrats want the White House to give credit where credit is due: Specifically, to them.
In an interview with The Hill newspaper, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said his caucus was unhappy that President Obama did not tip his hat to Senate Democrats’ suggestions as he was touting the website repairs. Reid even chided the president privately over the matter.
“I did communicate to him that there have been things done by the White House that improved the health care bill and those fixes were suggested originally by my senators and they got no credit for it. I thought that was improper,” he said.
While Reid did not enumerate which repairs were suggested specifically by Senate Democrats, his caucus has not been shy in voicing their concerns about the health care law’s troubled rollout.
The entire Senate Democratic conference met with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough at the end of October to vent their frustrations about the technical problems with HealthCare.gov.
Still, Reid complained about inadequate consultation between Senate Democrats and the White House during the rocky first few weeks of the law’s rollout.
“There was a period of time there where there were no questions that were answered because they were so overwhelmed with trying to get that program fixed,” he said.
Reid told The Hill that recent staffing turnover at the White House could well improve the dialogue between the administration and the Senate. Mr. Obama recently brought former aide Phil Schiliro back into the fold to manage the implementation of Obamacare. He also elevated Katie Beirne Fallon, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to the top of his legislative affairs staff.