Dems pressure Reid to hold O-Care votes

Centrist Democratic senators are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidConservative Senate candidate calls on GOP to end filibuster Ex-Reid aide: McConnell's 'original sin' was casting ObamaCare as 'partisan, socialist takeover' GOP faces growing demographic nightmare in West MORE (D-Nev.) to bring legislation fixing ObamaCare to the floor.

The lawmakers say their leadership has been too reluctant to bring healthcare fixes up for votes.

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“You got to move forward and get to the working parts and make sure you’re working toward fixing the parts that are broken if you can. If you can’t, repeal them,” said Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin on GOP lawmaker’s suggestion for a duel with female senators: I’ll ‘step outside with him’ McCain returning to Senate in time for health vote Pressure on Trump grows as Kushner is questioned MORE (D-W.Va.), who is backing several bills to change the healthcare law, including one offered by Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuCNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' CNN's Van Jones: O'Keefe Russia 'nothingburger' video 'a hoax' Trump posts O'Keefe videos on Instagram MORE (D-La.) that would let people keep health plans that fail to meet the requirements of ObamaCare for as long as they like.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenCongress must extend critical federal funding for type 1 diabetes research Overnight Defense: Trump gets briefing at Pentagon on ISIS, Afghanistan | Senate panel approves five defense picks | Senators want Syria study in defense bill Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere MORE (D-N.H.) is pressing Reid to bring up for a vote her bill, which would extend the enrollment period for ObamaCare, now scheduled to end on March 31.

She also supports legislation sponsored by Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (D-Colo.) that would let people keep health insurance plans that fail to meet the law’s standards for two years, through Dec. 31, 2015.

Shaheen’s office said she wants votes on her bills this year, noting the open enrollment period is about to end.

“The real question is why Democratic leadership hasn’t called any of these votes,” a Democratic aide said.

For now, Reid does not plan to schedule votes on any of the bills sponsored by Democrats to fix various elements of the Affordable Care Act.

A Democratic leadership aide said the clamor among Democratic lawmakers to vote on the fixes also is considerably softer than it was in the fall.

There are reasons for Democrats to avoid the topic of healthcare entirely given some of the problems with the new law. Republicans have vowed to use ObamaCare in the election-year messaging, and they’ve long said the law’s unpopularity will help them win back the Senate this year.

But Democrats see some advantages for their party in bringing ObamaCare fixes to the floor for votes.

The votes would put Republicans in a tough spot, and some say Reid could want to wait until closer to the election to turn up the heat.

Republican senators are split over whether to focus on repealing the law altogether or reforming it.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonOvernight Healthcare: Senate votes to begin ObamaCare repeal debate | McCain returns to vote | GOP floats scaled-down healthcare bill MSNBC ‘Cartoon of the Day’ shows McCain lying in hospital bed McCain returns to applause, casts deciding vote to advance healthcare bill MORE (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that he would support a specific repeal of the medical device tax, a proposal many Democrats support.

Republican lawmakers may also find it difficult to vote against legislation sponsored by Landrieu or Udall that would let people keep health plans that fail to meet the law’s requirements.

“It depends on what the fix is,” Sen. Jim RischJim RischBipartisan push to prioritize cyber advice for small businesses Five questions after Comey’s testimony Comey delivers dramatic rebuke of Trump MORE (R-Idaho) said.

Risch said he would likely support Landrieu’s proposal “as a general concept.”

“Let’s go back to the free-market system. It’s worked for 240 years,” he said. “Except I don’t think the Democrats are going to let her vote on something like that.”

“A bipartisan effort to undo the egregious parts of ObamaCare that are simply not working or repeal would be welcomed,” Sen. Dan CoatsDan CoatsOvernight Cybersecurity: Kushner says no collusion, improper contacts with Russia | House poised to vote on Russia sanctions | U.S., Japan to beef up cyber cooperation Trump intel chief: No agencies dispute Russian election meddling Obama intel chief wonders if Trump is trying to make 'Russia great again' MORE (R-Ind.) said.

Other Republicans say the law is too flawed to be fixed.

“There’s no building in such terrible shape it couldn’t be repaired, but in many cases it’s better to tear the old building down and start again with something that truly will work,” Sen. Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Healthcare: Trump plays hardball on ObamaCare | Senators revive negotiations | CBO says repeal without replace would cost 32M insurance White House working with moderates on new Medicaid proposal Senate GOP revives negotiation over ObamaCare repeal and replace MORE (R-Mo.) said. “I think it’s largely unfixable.”

Manchin said Congress needs to act once it becomes apparent whether the law is working as intended or not.

He is backing bills that would delay the penalty associated with the individual mandate; extend the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a full-time workweek from 30 hours to 40 hours; and remove requirements that force businesses, charities and churches to file excess forms and filings with the IRS.

The latter two provisions may have a decent chance of gaining Republican support and winning passage if they are brought up for votes.

Reid and other Democratic senators have called into question stories about hardships caused by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue but they’re bring told all over America,” Reid said Wednesday on the Senate floor.

Senate Democrats including Sens. Chris MurphyChris MurphyTough road ahead for McConnell on ObamaCare Dem senator: Trump's 'icky' Boy Scout speech left 'my stomach in knots' Senate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (Conn.) and Charles SchumerCharles SchumerCongress can send a powerful message by passing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act OPINION | Dems' ‘new’ agenda? A recycled copy of Trump’s playbook Trump: Why aren't 'beleaguered AG,' investigators looking at Hillary Clinton? MORE (N.Y.) on Wednesday launched a campaign to highlight what they described as the underappreciated successes of the Affordable Care Act.

“Over the next several months, the ACA is going to become less important as a Republican campaign issue because more and more Americans from young adults all the way up to seniors are realizing the benefits it has to offer,” Schumer said.

“In addition, the parade of horrible stories trotted out by the haters of this bill prove not to be true,” he added.