Wasserman Schultz: 'Any of Our Candidates Will Be Able to Run on Obamacare'

December 4, 2013 - 7:40 AM

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) chairs the Democratic National Committee. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the Democratic Party chair, says Obamacare is not a liability for members of her party who are running for re-election.

"Any of our candidates will be able to run on Obamacare," she told CNN's "Crossfire" Tuesday night.

"Everyone is running on Obamacare -- perfect," responded Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, who appeared with Schultz.

But pressed by Priebus on which Democratic Senate candidate -- Kay Hagan? Mary Landrieu? Mark Pryor? Mark Begich? -- would run on Obamacare, Schultz would not name names.

"Any of our candidates will run on the fact that a young adult can stay on their parents' insurance until they're 26 years old," she said.

Priebus noted that Republicans also support that provision of the law -- and so do insurance companies.

"You know what, Reince?" Schultz said. "I've had moms come up to me in the supermarket and say, 'Debbie, thank you for supporting the Affordable Care Act, because now I can put my two young adult daughters back on my insurance.'"

"Good," Priebus said. "The insurance companies have already said that they're going to provide it. But you still didn't answer the question, who's going to run on Obamacare?"

Schultz dodged the question: "If left up to you and your party, we would shut the government down, all in the name of denying people health care. You have no proposal to replace it. You have --"

"First of all, that's not true," Priebus said.

"Oh yes it is," Schultz retorted.

Priebus noted that Schultz still hadn't answered the question about which Democrat running for re-election would see Obamacare as a political advantage.

"All of our candidates are able to run on the provisions of Obamacare," Schultz insisted. "They'll be able to use Obamacare as an advantage...Because, you know what? When a woman comes up to me who's dealing with breast cancer and she's told me that, under the old system, before the Affordable Care Act, she had to choose between the radiation or the chemo, because she couldn't afford the co-pay or the deductible on both, you're darn right that our -- our party brought that peace of mind."

Priebus rejected the Democrat argument, repeated Tuesday by President Obama, that Republicans are simply against Obamacare, without an alternative plan of their own.

He said Republicans agree with the law's provisions on keeping adult children, up to age 26, on their parents' insurance, and he said Republicans also favor a remedy for people with pre-existing conditions.

"Insurance companies are supposedly going to let people stay on their parents' insurance until they're 26," Schultz said. "Is your solution that we should just trust -- go back to trusting the insurance companies because they did such a good job?"

Schultz pressed Priebus, "How do we cover everybody?"

He reminded her, "This Congress has never, never proposed open prices, never proposed the idea that hospitals and doctors put out the prices of the services and the activities that they do in the hospitals and to their patients so people can see what the prices are. No one -- we have never tried ending junk lawsuits... We've never tried small businesses and individuals being able to pool resources together so that more people could get access..."

Priebus said the Democrat solution was to "leapfrog directly to European Obamacare."

The conversation was heated right to the end of the program, when Priebus told Schultz, "Keep it up, running on Obamacare, we're going to do just fine" in upcoming elections.

Schultz told him, "I can't wait until we compare government shutdown to giving people the peace of mind of being able to know that they have access to quality affordable healthcare. I'll take that --"