Despite the troubled rollout of Obamacare, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Sunday that he believes the health care law will be an advantage rather than a liability to Democrats seeking reelection next year.
"I think that senators are going to be a in a great position to say, 'Look, we are doing dramatic changes that help you be able to meet the challenges for your family of health care and eliminate some of the greatest evils that existed under the previous system,'" Menendez, a former chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
The Obama administration has been scrambling to fix glitches with the HealthCare.gov website and to mollify widespread criticism over dropped insurance plans. Recent polling shows that the president's approval ratings have tanked sharply due to the problems with the health care law's rollout.
While many expect the publicity to be damaging for Democrats in 2014, Menendez argued that there was still plenty of time for the administration to get Obamacare back on track. He noted that early enrollment in Massachusetts's state health insurance program in 2006 was slow, too.
"The Massachusetts plan, when it was rolled out, enrollment rates at the very beginning weren't great," Menendez said. "A lot of people waited towards the end and that was a success."
Menendez bemoaned the fact that some of the most attractive features of the Affordable Care Act aren't being discussed now, like the broadening of coverage for people with preexisting conditions.
"These are the advantages of the program nobody speaks about," he said.
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