A little later today, House Republicans will vote once again to eliminate every word of every page of the Affordable Care Act. I noted yesterday that it will be the 31st time the House GOP has voted to repeal all, part, or some of “Obamacare,” but it turns out I understated matters – I’ve since been informed by the House Republican Whip’s office that today will be the 33rd repeal vote.
Regardless, the GOP believes it has a political winner on its hands, which is why they keep going through this charade, knowing repeal will never pass the Senate. Polls show support for the law growing in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling – less than a third of Americans endorse Republicans demand for full repeal – but the House majority doesn’t care.
What this offers is an opportunity for Democrats – if they choose to take advantage of it. Greg Sargent reports today on whether the tables can be turned in advance of the election.
Today, in the wake of the House GOP vote to repeal Obamacare, the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] will use the vote to attack House GOPers who are running for Senate – mostly in red states.
The DSCC will hit Rep. Rick Berg, who’s running against Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota; Rep. Denny Rehberg, who’s running to unseat Jon Tester in Montana; Rep. Connie Mack, the favorite to face Bill Nelson in Florida; and Rep. Jeff Flake, who’s running for the open seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jon Kyl in Arizona.
The details matter, of course. The message isn’t “Obamacare’s great”; the message is “Republicans are playing games when they should be focusing on jobs.” That’s not a bad campaign message, but it’s only taking advantage of the opportunity half-way.
The Democratic message doesn’t note, for example, that every Republican supporting full repeal is voting to take away health coverage for young adults staying on their family plans. They’re also voting to raise prescription drug prices for seniors, ending protections for those with pre-existing conditions, reinstating lifetime insurance caps, scrapping tax breaks for small businesses, and raising the deficit the GOP sometimes pretends to care about.
In other words, Republicans are trying to kill popular health care measures because they think it’ll help them politically. Maybe someone ought to let voters know.
Still, for Dems to get out of a defensive crouch on health care is itself a step in the right direction.