By Justin Sink
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli blasted the implementation of ObamaCare as a "national embarrassment" and called the program a "grave threat" in Saturday's weekly Republican address.
The Virginia attorney general said the law was "the hallmark of a reckless federal government that has lost its way," as Republicans looked to seize on a rocky first month of the ObamaCare insurance exchanges.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the online insurance exchanges have created enrollment forms that misreport family members, create duplicate entries, or clear important data fields.
Those problems are in addition to the technical glitches that have plagued the site since its launch at the beginning of the month. Would-be users of the online portal servicing 36 states have found long wait times and buggy code.
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama was “not happy” with the health care exchanges.
“The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is something that the administration is engaged in, including the effort to address the difficulties and glitches that have occurred with the website,” Carney said.
In his address, Cuccinelli highlighted instances of employers citing the new health care law in their decision to drop employees or their spouses from coverage.
"They were told their premiums wouldn’t increase, that proved to be false," Cuccinelli said. "And they were told they could keep access to their insurance and their doctors, and that proved to be downright dishonest."
The White House has dismissed anecdotal instances of employers dropping coverage, arguing that companies were likely using the law as an excuse to reduce benefits. The administration has also denied that employers are systematically cutting hours to avoid penalties under the law.
Cuccinelli also appeared to advocate for the so-called Vitter Amendment in his remarks.
The legislation, championed by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), would eliminate the subsidy that members of Congress and their staff receive to pay for health insurance. House Republicans had attempted to include the measure in legislation to end the government shutdown, but were ultimately unable to corral enough votes.
“If the politicians who gave us this train wreck expect us to live by this law, then the same law without special exemptions should apply to Congress. Is that really too much to ask?" Cuccinelli said.
Opponents of the measure have said that Congress’s subsidy is no different than private employers picking up part of the cost of employee’s health insurance. They have also argued that insurance could become unaffordable for some low-paid Hill staffers.
Cuccinelli’s address comes with less than three weeks to go before he’ll square off against former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe. An NBC News poll released Thursday found the Tea Party-backed candidate down 8 points — a decline of 3 points from before the government shutdown.