The tea party is looking to capitalize on the rollout of Obamacare to help revive the conservative movement in time for the 2014 midterm elections.
Predictions by top Democrats, including President Barack Obama, of potential problems with implementing the law have not been lost on the tea party leadership, reports The Hill.
“Implementation has already shown itself to be a series of political time bombs,” Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of Freedom Works, told the publication.
“The hypothetical arguments against Obamacare are very real. Obamacare is a much realer, more palpable threat now that it’s being implemented, ” he added.
Tea party activists already are looking towards Jan. 1, when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect. That is when state health-insurance exchanges are to start offering coverage, Medicaid expansion will begin, and consumer protections are to become active.
Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, told The Hill that implementation of the law is “reinvigorating the movement.”
“We’re doing street rallies and protests over the next month to three months initially. We’re working to recruit candidates that can talk about this,” she said.
The issue began heating up last month when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, one of the Democratic architects of the healthcare law, said it would be a “train wreck” unless the public has better understanding of what it entails.
“I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” he told Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in a hearing, noting, “I’m very concerned that not enough is being done so far — very concerned.”
The potential boon for the tea party comes at a time when the movement has suffered some major blows, including defeats in the 2012 elections.
“The tea party is certainly dying as a movement,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell told The Hill. “They definitely need some new life breathed into them, and [Obamacare implementation] is the issue to do that. They need to make it work. If they can’t hack it in 2014, they’re done.”
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