Clyburn: Democrats structured Obamacare to use in 2014 election

House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Sunday that Democrats deliberately structured Obamacare to use as an issue in the 2014 election.

During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," host Candy Crowley noted that many of the law's more popular items (coverage for pre-existing conditions, for example) kick in in 2014, while the part requiring all employers to provide health insurance, for instance, was delayed until after the 2014 election.

"The fact of the matter is, we will be running on Obamacare in 2014. In fact, we set it up to run on it in 2014," Clyburn said. "All that you're talking about right now kicks in as of January 1, 2014. We will start doing the exchanges on October 1, 2013."

Republicans have seized on Obamacare early in the 2014 election cycle, as it continues to poll not very popularly and some Democrats have worried aloud about problems with implementation.

Clyburn noted that Social Security and Medicare weren't popular when they were first instituted either, but now people don't like Congress to make any changes to the programs.

"They will be saying the same thing 10 or 15 years from now about Obamacare," Clyburn said.

Appearing on the same program, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus reiterated that Republicans will use the issue early and often.

He even joked that Republicans should stop trying to defund Obamacare so that they can use it as a political issue.

“The cynical part of me says keep it in place so we can run on it even more in 2014," Priebus said.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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Aaron Blake · August 11, 2013