DNC chief: Democrats can run and win on ObamaCare in 2014
By Alexandra Jaffe - 10/25/13 09:57 AM ET
Democrats will be able to run on ObamaCare and win in 2014, the party chairwoman's insisted Friday.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said the troubled rollout of ObamaCare's enrollment website, which has frustrated thousands trying to enter the site and bruised the administration, won't hurt Democats in next year's mid-term elections.
"Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win," Wasserman Schultz said.
Speaking to reporters after an address to the DNC's Women Leadership Forum on Friday, Wasserman Schultz said the law will help the party with female voters because of the benefits women will receive under the healthcare law.
"No, on the contrary, we know that women are already benefiting significantly from the part of ObamaCare that's already been implemented," she said.
Wasserman Schultz cited the ability of women to receive free birth control and preventative care under the law as examples.
A number of Democrats have signaled worries about the law and the web site.
Ten Democratic senators signed a letter on Friday urging Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to extend the deadline for enrolling to make sure people unable to access ObamaCare's enrollment website will have time to do so.
Republicans have also hammered Democrats on the issue. The National Republican Congressional Committee on Thursday launched a series of radio ads focused on the web site that target vulnerable House Democrats. The ads are meant to appeal to female voters.
Wasserman Schultz said she doesn't think an extension of the enrollment period will be necessary.
"We fully expect that that won't be necessary, because the kinks that have occurred through the website are being worked on and are being ironed out," she said.
She pointed to the "tech surge" — the team of experts and programmers called in to fix the sites — and said it "is already showing signs of being effective."
Democrats need 17 seats to pick up the House — a tall order in a midterm election, when turnout is lower than in a presidential election.
But Wasserman Schultz argued the government shutdown and debt ceiling fight has hurt Republicans and will resonate with voters next year.
"Oh, absolutely," she said. "I think so. Yes."