Burned by Shutdown, House GOP Banging Obamacare Drum

Technical glitches give GOP a chance to change the subject from shutdown to Obamacare.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio waits to start a news conference following a meeting at the Republican National Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013.
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House Speaker John Boehner held his first press conference after the bitter 16-day government shutdown, Tuesday.

"We went through a very tough period," Boehner said, adding House Republicans fought the good fight, but didn't win.

[READ: Republicans Hope Obamacare Glitches Shape 2014 Races]

His focus now entirely set on changing the subject from the GOP's sinking poll numbers to the dysfunction of Obamacare, Boehner highlighted the problems with the health care implementation.

"The rollout of Obamacare is nothing short of a debacle and the American people are now fearful about their health care," Boehner said.

The White House estimates 20 million Americans have visited health care.gov, the website where individuals can shop for insurance online, but frozen web pages, prolonged wait times and broken premium estimate calculators have provided the administration with more headaches than bragging rights.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., echoed Boehner's sentiment.

"It is a new day and a new glitch for the Obamcare rollout."

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Thursday to explore why the website has had so many technical flaws. President Obama tapped a key administration aide Tuesday to fix the problems.

The House Republican push against Obamacare is what led the country into a government shutdown in the first place. Republicans voted on a series of bills to tie the federal government's funding bill to defund and delay Obamacare bills. The Senate Democrats refused to bring those bills to a vote and gridlock ensued.

A new Gallup Poll out Wednesday highlights the damage the GOP brand suffered, showing that is Obamacare is more palatable for key swing voters. While 50 percent of Americans still disapprove of the law, more independents and Democrats are warming to it.

[ALSO: Congress Has Lowest Approval Rating Ever]

Since the last poll was conducted in August, approval for the health care law has increased from 41 percent to 45 percent.

In August, 34 percent of independents were fans of Obamacare. Today, 39 percent are behind the law.

Republicans, meanwhile, remain starkly opposed to the Affordable Care Act with 86 percent opposed.

Gallup pollsters, however, warn that while the GOP's campaign against the health care law resonates with the base, the crusade may not court independent voters like it once did.

"The problems with the rollout of the health exchanges have given Republicans new reasons to criticize the law," Gallup pollster Frank Newport said. "However, the percentage of Republicans who disapprove of the law is already so high that it would be difficult for it to rise further. Eighty-six percent now disapprove, little changed from August."

The poll was conducted between Oct. 18 and 20 and included more than 1,500 adults.

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