Barack Obama

(Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

By Sam Baker and Elahe Izadi
November 13, 2013

Congressional Democrats are quickly losing patience with the White House as the deeply flawed Obamacare rollout drags on.

The broken website and President Obama’s broken promise that “if you like the plan you have, you can keep it” have sent Democrats searching for ways to distance themselves from the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Democrats are flocking to introduce bills they say would preserve Obama’s pledge, and White House officials met with House Democrats on Wednesday in an effort to push them away from supporting a similar Republican measure.

The Democrats’ response: If you don’t want us to vote for the GOP bill, give us something else to support—before Friday’s vote.

That’s a tall order for the administration. Obama said last week that he had directed his team to look for a way to address the wave of cancellation notices hitting consumers in the individual insurance market. But no solution has been announced, and policy experts say there aren’t any easy options.

The House bill, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., would allow consumers to keep certain health care plans longer than they can under the Affordable Care Act.

A policy analysis from the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the bill would undermine the health care law, not help it. But in the midst of such bad publicity, that concern hasn’t resonated with rank-and-file Democrats who feel boxed in by Obama.

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