Ed Driscoll

'Obama Open to Health-Law Change'

Aaaaaaaannnnnnnddddd here we go; the Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight:

The government released numbers Wednesday showing that far fewer Americans had enrolled in private insurance plans under the new health law than expected and, in a marked shift, the Obama administration signaled it was open to legislation to fix the troubled rollout.

The move came as the administration faced mounting dissatisfaction from Democrats over the law’s implementation.

New administration figures showed that only 26,794 people nationwide had enrolled in a private health plan through the balky online federal marketplace in its first month—far short of projections. Meantime, some 79,391 people had bought private plans on state-run exchanges.

In the past, White House officials had said they strongly preferred an administrative remedy to the law’s shortcomings. But on Wednesday, officials suggested that President Barack Obama was open to a bill by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.), that would require insurers to continue offering plans that were in existence this year, even if that meant reinstating ones that had been canceled because they didn’t meet the health law’s standards.

The magnitude of Democratic support for a legislative solution will become clearer on Friday, when the House is set to vote on a separate Republican plan to let insurance companies continue to offer policies that were canceled recently. That vote may push Mr. Obama to move before Friday to offer his own administrative remedy or more fully embrace Ms. Landrieu’s bill.

The White House shift came as more Democrats in Congress, fearful of a voter backlash due to the law, have lost confidence in administration assurances that the problems could be solved without changing the legislation.

Congress will very likely pass some form of Obamacare repeal on Friday; over to you, Barry and Harry.

What happens next? Feel free to speculate in the comments below.

Related: “House Dems about to ‘go crazy.'” The Hill reported earlier today.

Define “crazy,” Jim Geraghty responds: