U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hit the airwaves while on Christmas break, spinning the HealthCare.gov fiasco, making a candid admission about how Obamacare was originally written, and blaming tea party activists for everything wrong in the Senate.
Reid shed some light on his view of the Obamacare rollout during an interview with a Las Vegas NBC News affiliate Tuesday.
Standing by previous statements, Reid said Obama’s narrative over the past three years about people keeping their health insurance policies was true. But then he admitted the law wasn’t written that way, and that its architects knew people’s policies would change.
“What he said was true,” Reid said. “The problem is we did not put the bill into effect that way. There’s a lot of administrative things that kicked in. There’ve been three changes to anyone’s policy since then. It’s not the same policy.”
News 3’s Jeff Gillan pounced on the opportunity to pin Reid down on the Obamacare meltdown.
“Senator, I don’t have to tell you, but Democrats put a lot of skin in this game,” Gillan said. “This is President Obama’s signature accomplishment. What’s your diagnosis about how this got off to such a wrong start?”
Reid said the easy thing would have been to do nothing.
“No one ever expected this to go smoothly, but I didn’t expect it to go as un-smoothly as it did,” he said. “But this is a big, big deal. This is something that America needed. We cannot have health care just for people with money.’’
Gillan asked Reid about the political fallout and its potential impact onfor Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections.
“I think it’s going to be good for them,” Reid said. “By that time, there will be a lot of people that signed up for it. It will be fine.”
Reid said he’s not concerned about losing the majority in the Senate, saying, “I’m not cocky, but I am comfortable where we are.”
Watch that segment of the interview here via News 3:
Reid becomes animated in the second segment of the interview when discussing what it’s like to work with Senate Republicans. He didn’t miss an opportunity to take more than a few shots at the tea party.
“I pride myself in being able to work with my Republican colleagues,” Reid said. “But it’s been pretty difficult lately. They’ve done everything they can to make Obama look bad.”
Reid said the GOP is not the same anymore. It’s now driven by the tea party.
“Legislation is the art of compromise. Consensus building – we don’t have that now,” he said. “The tea party will not allow Republicans to compromise.”
Who knew Reid was so open to compromise?
Watch the second segment here: