-- Top congressional Democrats on Sunday stood by President
and the flawed rollout of the government's healthcare website, expressing confidence the problems would be fixed and the issue would not drag down the party in next year’s mid-term elections.
“I don't think you can tell what will happen next year, but I will tell you this -- Democrats stand tall in support of the
Pelosi downplayed the defection of 39 House Democrats on Friday who voted to help pass a Republican bill, opposed by the
The number of Democrats who defied President Obama and House Democratic leaders on the vote was about the same as those who have joined with
“Maybe nine people had real serious concerns,” Clyburn said on
Clyburn criticized the legislation because it would allow insurers to continue to sell what he called "substandard" and "junk" policies.
But Republicans said Democrats were trying to gloss over the problems with the controversial law.
“No matter how much Congresswoman Pelosi tries to spin this, this is a mess,” Sen.
"It's time to start over. This healthcare law is terribly flawed," he said on CNN. "The president did not need to destroy a good healthcare system to try to make a better one."
Obama tried to address the problem of policy cancellations last week even as administration officials scrambled to try to get the healthcare.gov website running correctly by the end of the month. On Thursday, Obama gave insurance companies permission to renew policies that were to be canceled for not meeting the law's new standards that require, for example, coverage for
But companies do not have to renew the policies and would need permission from state regulators to do so.
“Keep in mind, it is a suggestion. It is not a ruling, and it certainly is not a law,”
Insurance industry officials have the same concerns. They met with Obama at the White House on Friday and are working with the administration to try to address the issue of policy cancellations, said Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group.
"We have the same goals. We're going to work together to try to get people into affordable coverage," she said on "Fox News Sunday." "We have work to do, there is no question. But we have an interest in doing it together and working together on that."
[For the Record, 1:20 p.m. PST: A previous version of this post incorrectly described Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House. She is the chamber's minority leader and former speaker.]