“If healthcare were to be his one major victory and it is seen as flawed and resisted to some good effect for the remainder of his presidency, that would be a hit to his legacy and it might take him off the list of great Democratic presidents,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University.

Jillson said the delay also highlights the problems some had with the healthcare law and “feeds into the narrative that Obama is ineffectual in dealing with Congress.”

Republicans seized on the delay Tuesday evening and into Wednesday, claiming the legislation itself had been rammed through both chambers with many blemishes.

“Obamacare is a flawed law, it has been from day one and continues to be one now,” said Kirsten Kukowski, a press secretary for the Republican National Committee. “This latest announcement is just another sign that the president and his administration are afraid of the havoc that this imperfect law will wreak on everyday Americans.”