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Axelrod says history will judge Obama healthcare law kindly

David Axelrod said Wednesday that he was "not concerned" about a delay in implementing a key provision of the president's healthcare reform law, arguing that history would validate the legislation as successful.

"We tend to judge these things along the way," Axelrod, a former White House senior adviser and the architect of the president's campaign, said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Every day in Washington's Election Day. We tend to judge these things on the basis of what's happening at that moment. 

Axelrod said that President Obama’s “view is that we ought to plow forward, make sure this can work, and we're going to look back at it and it's going to be our proudest accomplishment."

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"It's going to take time,” he added. “If you're worried about optics at any given moment, you're not going to accomplish very much in public office."

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that they would delay until after the 2014 midterm elections a mandate requiring businesses to provide their workers with health insurance or else face a fine. 

The White House said that by delaying the requirement until 2015, it would give more businesses time to figure out the complex reporting requirements mandated by the law.

Axelrod tried to downplay the setback Wednesday morning, saying that major social programs often "come online in fits and starts."

"There are bumps in the road. You have to make adjustments along the way," he continued. "Ultimately when history looks back at them, we say that was the right thing to do. I think that's the way it's going to be with the Affordable Care Act."

Axelrod though admitted that the law would be "uneven in its application and successes," saying determined Republican opposition could delay aspects from being implemented in certain states.

"These are obstacles that other programs haven't faced," Axelrod said.

The former Obama adviser also denied that the delay was politically motivated, saying he believed Democrats had a winning argument against opponents of the law.

"What is the alternative on the Republican side to deal with what everybody recognizes is a serious problem?" Axelrod said. "I think that was the flaw that we saw in 2012. There was no answer to that question."

Republicans on Tuesday were crowing over the decision to delay the mandate, saying it validated their concerns about the president's signature domestic program.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement that the move was a "clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable, and it underscores the need to repeal the law and replace it with effective, patient-centered reforms."

"The president's health care law is already raising costs and costing jobs. This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the 'train wreck' will only get worse," Boehner said.

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