The Republican Party can take advantage of growing opposition to the Affordable Care Act in the 2014 elections, says GOP strategist Karl Rove.
Just last week, the heads of three major unions – the Teamsters, the Food and Commercial Workers, and UNITE-HERE – wrote a letter to Democratic congressional leaders complaining about Obamacare, he notes in a Wall Street Journal column
They said that without "an equitable fix," Obamacare "will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week."
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Rove says union leaders are justified in arguing that Obamacare "creates an incentive to keep employees' work hours below 30 hours a week." That's because employers aren't required to provide insurance to employees working less than 30 hours under Obamacare.
"It will not help Democratic enthusiasm in the 2014 mid-term elections if Obamacare causes (a), more workers to lose their union-provided insurance and (b), their hours and paychecks to be cut," he says. And the union bosses have threatened to curb their support for Democratic candidates if Obamacare doesn't change.
But Republicans can't "just watch and jeer from the cheap seats," Rove says, noting that a recent poll by the super PAC Crossroads GPS suggests that "voters will respond to a focused discussion of Obamacare's shortcomings and a robust set of alternatives."
The poll, Rove continues, indicates the GOP should focus on the economic hardship Obamacare could cause. A total of 62 percent of voters believe the top priority of healthcare should be making it more affordable, Rove says the poll found, and 38 percent say Obamacare makes things worse, while only 23 percent say it will make things better.
"On the flip side, the poll showed strong backing for conservative reforms that reduce costs," Rove says. For example, 82 percent favor allowing individuals to buy health insurance with pretax dollars, and 78 percent support the sale of insurance across state lines.
"The high level of discontent with Obamacare suggests that Republicans can win on the issue of healthcare — but not simply by offering endless votes in the House to repeal the law," he states.
"The GOP must offer substantive conservative alternatives. These alternatives exist. It's time Republicans showcase them."
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