Updated 6:08 p.m. ET, 11/6/2013
Washington (CNN) – A group of 15 Senate Democrats–all up for re-election in a year–met with President Barack Obama Wednesday to get an update on the beleaguered website where Americans are supposed to be able to register for exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.
The Democrats, along with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. Michael Bennet, met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss progress made to HealthCare.gov, a White House official said, adding that security and privacy concerns were also raised during the session.
Democrats on Capitol Hill, many who vocally supported the Affordable Care Act during the lead-up to its passage in 2010, have grown increasing wary of the rollout of Obama's signature legislation, particularly as technical concerns with the website have prevented Americans whose insurance plans are canceled from enrolling online.
"I urged the president again to extend the enrollment period to give consumers enough time to make an informed decision about their family's health insurance options," Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado said after the meeting. "I also told the president that, for the Affordable Care Act to succeed, consumers need to be confident their personal information is secure."
Some of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2014 – including Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina – attended Wednesday's meeting. Bennet, who is not up for re-election until 2016, departed the White House Wednesday alongside Obama ahead of the president's trip to Dallas.
A congressional source with knowledge of a meeting between Obama and the group of Democratic Senators told CNN concerns about the impact of Obamacare on next year's mid-term elections were a part of the reason for the gathering at the White House.
"There would not have been this meeting if you didn't have this group of Senators up in 2014," the Democratic staffer with knowledge of the meeting told CNN.
The gathering was held as White House officials were pushing back on the notion that Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe nearly lost his race for governor due to voter complaints about Obamacare.
The staffer told CNN the meeting between the Senators and the President was not contentious or tense. It was pretty civil, the congressional source said, focusing on technical issues of the rollout and concerns expressed by constituents.
One aide to a senator in the White House meeting told CNN his office had been pressing for a meeting with administration officials - not specifically with the President - for a while because the staff was frustrated after reading details in the press about the administration’s efforts to fix the website but not seeing those actions happening on the ground.
"We wanted to get to the bottom of it,” the aide said.
While there was universal agreement among those in the meeting about the need to get the website fixed, according to the aide, there was also concern by the senators about other problems that need to be worked on–ranging from security to cancellations.
"Nobody in the room, including the president, thought this rollout has gone well. I've been keeping a record of the concerns and frustrations New Mexicans have expressed to me personally and to my office, and I discussed that with the president," Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said, adding that he wanted to ensure that the enrollment deadline was flexible.
Pryor in a statement said he told the president to "hold the individuals in charge accountable for these mistakes. I won't let up until these problems are fixed."
Begich, who's facing one of the toughest re-election battles of 2014, sent out a news release later Wednesday, saying he "demanded" improvements to the health care rollout.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable in this day and age that the administration can’t deliver on the promises it made to all Americans because of technical problems with a website,” Begich said in the statement. “Alaskans should be appreciating the critical benefits of the Affordable Care Act but there is an understandable crisis in confidence because the administration has yet to get it off the ground.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, speaking aboard Air Force One Wednesday, said he “believed” the White House initiated the meeting with Senators, and added the president wasn’t worried that Obamacare could become a political liability for Democrats up for re-election in 2014.
“He’s not concerned about the politics of it,” Carney said. “He obviously campaigned on it in 2008. He fought hard to get the legislation passed in 2010.”
“The president believes that delivering of access to affordable and quality care is policy that makes good politics.”
While in Texas Obama will attend an event promoting Obamacare, as well as attend fundraisers for Senate Democrats. The fundraisers are hosted by lawyers Russell Budd and Peter Kraus, and tickets range in price from $15,000 to $32,000.
Even as Obama was seeking to reassure Senate Democrats that the Obamacare technical problems would be resolved well ahead of their re-election fights, White House advisers were taking to Twitter to push back on the notion that Tuesday’s tighter-than-expected result in Virginia’s gubernatorial race came down to dissatisfaction with the health law.
“Cucinelli's profile was based on defeating O'care; if he cldnt get big bounce out of recent troubles; hard to see GOP strategy working in 14,” Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s senior adviser, wrote.
– CNN’s Kevin Bohn and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.