In 2010, Democrats in the House of Representatives lost dozens of colleagues to Obamacare.
Now, with less than a year until the 2014 election, a host of the doomsday scenarios Republicans promised in the 2010 midterm election are coming true: Americans are losing their preferred health care plans because they don't meet minimum requirements and some are seeing insurance premiums rise. Democrats fear the nightmare election of 2010 could become deja vu if lawmakers can't assure the Affordable Care Act's broken website is fixed and millions of Americans are able to get their insurance plans back.
"They are now bankrolling a campaign against me right now as we speak," Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., says about a slew of ads running in his district that blast him for supporting the Affordable Care Act. Rahall is the last Democratic House member in West Virginia and faces a competitive re-election in a swing district in 2014."[This] is going to have its negative repercussions."
Thursday, President Barack Obama, attempted to shield his Democratic legislators from the political backlash coming their way by announcing that Americans who had been canceled from their insurance plans could keep them for another year.
"I think it's fair to say the rollout has been rough so far," he said. "That's on me."
Vulnerable lawmakers, however, know they need more than an executive order to win the public relations campaign. Running for re-election in Republican-leaning states in 2014, senators and congressmen aren't backing away from their own proposals to fix the law.
Following a meeting with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., marched out and announced she still had her eye on passing her legislation that would allow Americans to keep their health insurance plans indefinitely.
"My bill is a permanent solution," Landrieu said. "It is important in my view to focus on fixing the Affordable Care Act when we see problems."
No matter where you turned in the Capitol Thursday, most Democrats were scrambling for a vote, a stamp on their records, some kind of proof that they fought to improve the president's landmark, yet hobbled legislation.
In the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday Democrats would introduce a "belt and suspender" bill that would allow Americans to stay on their health insurance plans, essentially reinforcing Obama's executive order.
"There was no way this was going to be a perfect rollout, but it is a little less perfect than we had thought," says Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. who seemed to favor the legislation.
Even a Republican House plan to fix the Affordable Care Act has attracted some Democratic support. Rep. Fred Upton's, R-Mich., bill would grandfather in any insurance policy owned by 2013, even if it did not meet Obamacare's minimum requirements.
Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said she was behind the plan because "Americans are smart enough to make their own choices about their own health care."
Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said at this point he'd consider nearly anything to fix Obamacare.
"I am for Upton. I am for Miller. And, I am for Obama," Peterson says. "I am supporting all of them. Maybe one of them will work."