To no one’s surprise, several Senate Democratic candidates have taken control of their own destiny last Friday. Their mission is to "improve" parts of the Affordable Care Act.
In reality, they are out to improve their chances for political survival past November’s election. Those striving for election victory represent mostly moderate-to-conservative states.
In the hot seat is Senate Majority Leader and politically besieged Harry Reid fighting an FBI investigation into his campaign funds. Worried senators up for election have him in the uncomfortable position of deciding whether to put senate bills to a vote or shelve causing great risk to party incumbents based on Reid's decisions.
"There is more to be done," the senators wrote in an op-ed in Politico, outlining the proposed changes.
The senators hearing footsteps include, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; and Sen. Angus King, I., Maine.
Among other ideas to improve Obamacare is called "copper" plans on the government-run health exchanges. These proposed insurance plans would offer lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs than the "bronze," "silver" and "gold" options currently offered.
These plans have been a source of great contention since the roll out of the Obamacare website.
The besieged senators have other ideas including restoration of start up funds for "consumer-driven health insurance cooperatives" and directing state regulators to look at allowing insurance to be sold across state lines.
Something only Republicans had suggested before political desperation drove Democrats into broader thinking.
Republicans need only six seats to win control of the Senate. Midterm elections traditionally favor the party out-of-power in the White House. Conservative groups are pouring million into races in where Democratic incumbents supported the 2010 vote on the Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile, the disastrous Obamacare rollout sees no end to its troubles.
The Health and Human Services Department announced this week that those who've started an enrollment application, but weren't able to finish before the March 31 open enrollment deadline, would get a limited amount of time to sign up for coverage that would take effect May 1.
It marks the 38th time the law has faced changes since last October.
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