Karl Rove: GOP Candidates Must Spell Out Alternatives to Obamacare

Image: Karl Rove: GOP Candidates Must Spell Out Alternatives to Obamacare Former Deputy Chief of Staff to former U.S. President George W. Bush, Karl Rove.

Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 08:45 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican candidates can't only attack Democrats for voting for Obamacare, says GOP strategist Karl Rove in an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal. They must also be able to spell out what they would do to replace it.

"Americans do not want to return to the broken status quo in place before [President Barack] Obama made an even bigger mess of our health-care system," the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush and organizer of the American Crossroads PAC wrote Wednesday.

There are liberal columnists and Democratic strategists who are saying that Obamacare is no longer a negative factor for candidates, and that they should tout its successes when running for office, said Rove.

"Republicans should pray they do, assuming the GOP knows how to respond," he commented.

He pointed out that in a June Fox News poll,  just 38 percent of the respondents were glad Obamacare passed, while 55 percent wish it had not. In addition, just 29 percent believed the country is better off with Obamacare, while 44 percent say it is worse off.

"But GOP candidates can't simply rely on attacking Democrats for having voted for Obamacare or, in the case of non-incumbents, supporting it," said Rove. "They should draw attention to the law's pernicious effects on ordinary Americans."

He noted that many of those who lost their insurance because it did not comply with Obamacare have ended up with much-higher premiums and deductibles.

"Republicans should routinely campaign with families who make this vivid and real by describing how this is affecting their household budget," said Rove.

Candidates should also focus on young workers, as the Obamacare community rating program means they are being charged higher premiums and deductibles than they should be in order to subsidize coverage for older people.

"Many older workers have bigger paychecks than the young families forced to shell out more cash than their risk profile would require," he wrote.

Republicans should also reach out to families who are being hit by higher bills, said Rove, as Obama "promised premiums would go down by $2,500 per family, as did most of the Senate Democrats running for re-election this fall."

Families are continuing to see price increases, said Rove, with a recent analysis from America Next showing that between 2010 and 2013, costs went up by $6,039 for individuals and $17,344 for families because of Obamacare.

"This is in part because an estimated 27 percent of people who enrolled in Obamacare have serious health challenges and draw on their coverage substantially more than the national average," said Rove.

Further, said Rove, Republican candidates should point out that Obamacare discourages people from having full-time jobs. The economy did add 288,000 jobs in June, said Rove, but that was because America lost 523,000 full-time positions that were replaced with 799,000 part-time jobs.

Rove also encouraged Republicans to campaign with small business owners who are concerned about expanding their companies, and with health professionals who are seeing first hand the harm Obamacare is causing.

"Obamacare was unpopular when it passed," he concluded. "Republican candidates must show through real-life examples why those concerns were fully justified, and how millions of lives have been unnecessarily disrupted by this liberal calamity."

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