Democrats are divided, as well, between those who essentially say stand pat with the act as it is and those who, for political reasons, are calling for changes to reduce the political liabilities they see in embracing the law completely.
Obama says he’s open to fixing the law’s problems but has proposed no real changes. He has acted unilaterally to postpone deadlines for implementation of specific provisions, which continues to infuriate Republicans. Administration officials claim the delays are simply for administrative reasons; Republicans see it as manipulation to avoid further political damage.
Politically, Democrats have adopted a message short of fully embracing the act. No, they say, it isn’t perfect. Changes could and should be made. This “mend it, don’t end it” message is increasingly popular among political strategists advising candidates in competitive races this year. Whether it’s anything more than a rhetorical ploy is a different question.