New Hampshire senior Senator Jeanne Shaheen, facing an increasingly tough reelection battle in 2014, joined a group of vulnerable Democrats pushing for significant changes to the Obamacare law. Beltway news outlet The Hill reported that Shaheen and three other Senators are working on a “multi-faceted plan to rework parts” of the law:
Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) are discussing a multi-faceted plan to rework parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Landrieu, Shaheen and Udall face reelection next year.
“The [ObamaCare implementation] upgrade has been significant, but there’s more work to be done,” said Udall.
“Sen. Landrieu, Sen. Heitkamp, Sen. Shaheen and I are all working on a package that would incorporate our ideas,” he added.
Shaheen wants to extend the enrollment period for the ACA; Landrieu wants to mandate that insurance companies continue to offer plans that people like, even if they don’t meet the law’s requirements; and Udall wants to expand the pool of people included in the individual insurance marketplace.
“I’m not satisfied yet,” said Shaheen. “I’m still talking to people in New Hampshire to see what challenges we’re facing.”
“We have had a conversation about possibly introducing a package of fixes at the appropriate time,” she added in a later conversation.
Talking heads have credited the disastrous rollout of the federal healthcare with causing major problems for Democrats running in competitive states, and recent polling indicates that the Republicans are seen as likely to take back the U.S. Senate.
This move from Shaheen indicates an unprecedented degree of concern that her support of Obamacare is hurting her chances of reelection. Viewed as nearly invincible just months ago, she has become a target of national Republicans as polls show her holding a single-digit lead over some potential Republican challengers, including former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. Backing away from her party’s signature achievement during her time in office is sure to become fodder for GOP attack ads, and potentially draw the ire of liberal Democrats.