GOP to White House: It's an 'Unhappy' Obamacare Anniversary

Friday, 21 Mar 2014 08:48 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Sen. John Thune was among many Republicans on Friday who wished the White House an "unhappy" anniversary before Obamacare's fourth birthday on Sunday.

"Four years after Obamacare became the law of the land, millions of Americans have little but canceled policies, fewer choices, and skyrocketing costs to show for it," the South Dakotan, who chairs the Senate Republican Conference, told Newsmax in a statement.

"From seniors, to young adults, to middle-class families and small businesses, Obamacare has proven to be an equal-opportunity offender.

"Despite Democrats' best efforts to now run from this train wreck they set in motion four years ago, the people living under this law are acutely aware of the harm Obamacare is causing in their lives," Thune said.

The Affordable Care Act was passed by the Democratic Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.

Key provisions of the law have since been delayed — including the individual mandate for those who have lost their healthcare coverage through October 2015 — and millions of Americans have seen skyrocketing premiums and deductibles, along with lower-quality care.

In addition, the law's anniversary comes amid predictions that Obamacare will bring "the end of employer-sponsored insurance," said Ezekiel J. Emanuel, one of the healthcare plan's designers.

Emanuel estimated in a new book that private-sector workers who get insurance through their employers would drop to fewer than 20 percent by 2025. Slightly less than 60 percent of workers now get their insurance through employer-sponsored plans.

"It's safe to say that Democrats are going to want to ignore this anniversary," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a conference call, The Hill reports. "The Senate is slipping away ... it seems like every day the math is expanding ... because of Obamacare, we know that Democrats are in disarray. It's a poisonous issue for them."

The call was hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, The Hill reports.

"Every anniversary that comes up, there's a gift that goes with it," said Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the NRCC. "For the fourth anniversary, it's traditionally flowers.

"I think the gift from President Obama with Obamacare to Democrat candidates is not a dozen roses, but rather a bunch of prickly pear cactus that they're not going to want to embrace," Walden said.

But Democrats said that Obamacare was benefiting Americans and that the GOP was making a risky bet in campaigning against the Affordable Care Act in this fall's congressional elections.

"All signs point to Republicans running against Obamacare again in 2014. But this year will be a little different. For the first time they are running to take away benefits that virtually every American who has healthcare is benefiting from," Mo Elleithee, communications director of the Democratic National Committee, said in a memo released earlier Friday, The Hill reports.

"That's the choice voters have in November: between Republicans who voted over 50 times to take away your rights and go back to the days when insurance companies could cancel your coverage on a whim, and Democrats who will protect a law that is working for millions of Americans and make sure it works even better."

Priebus noted that Republican David Jolly won a special election in Florida last week to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat by campaigning against Obamacare.

"I don't think there's any serious observer that believes Democrats can take the House, and the Senate is slipping away from them," Priebus said, according to Time magazine. "And that's because Americans are hurting from this law."


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