Democratic rhetoric about the triumph of Obamacare is "a wish, not a fact" and the law "will remain a political problem for Democrats," Republican strategist Karl Rove wrote in a commentary in The Wall Street Journal.
With the announcement that 7.1 million Americans have signed up, President Barack Obama declared, "The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats "are happy to not run away from what we have done. We're very proud of what we have accomplished."
Taking their cue from Pelosi, Democrats fighting hard re-election campaigns in Republican-leaning states are touting Obamacare. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana said the law "holds great promise and is getting stronger every day." In Alaska, Sen. Mark Begich asserted "seven million people have access to quality, affordable care and are in control of their own health-care choices."
Rove wrote "there's a huge disconnect between the party's rhetoric and the reality that people affected by the law have experienced."
As many as 20 percent of the 7.1 million enrollees have not paid for their insurance, Rove wrote. Also, the Obama administration can't assume the enrollees "are all happy patrons who will vote Democratic in gratitude," he wrote.
Not forgotten is Obama's promise that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," Rove wrote.
Before the end of 2013, The Associated Press had already estimated that 4.7 Americans had lost their plans because they didn't comply with Obamacare mandates, Rove wrote. Since then, Fox News reported the figure has climbed to 6.3 million. When this data is extrapolated for the 11 states where numbers are unavailable, the tally could rise to about 9.3 million nationwide, Rove wrote.
Moreover, no small number of these canceled policies covered more than one individual, pushing the numbers of people affected still higher, according to Rove.
And those now enrolled are not necessarily paying cheaper premiums or enjoying lower deductibles than they had with the original policies.
What is more, Democratic assumptions that more younger Americans are being covered under the policies of their parents may be erroneous.
The Manhattan Institute's Avik Roy notes that, taking population growth into account, there's been no increase in the actual percentage of those between the ages of 25 and 26 with coverage, Rove wrote.
"The administration seems to inhabit a parallel universe in which their health law is a glorious success that will carry Democrats to victory in the midterm elections. In November, the real world will deliver a harsh message about Obamacare," Rove wrote.
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