Obamacare Foes Seek Midterm Angle

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 08:11 AM

By Elliot Jager

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With immigration and crises abroad edging Obamacare out of the headlines, Republican political strategists are looking to motivate likely voters with catchy messages disparaging the president's signature healthcare plan, Politico reported.

GOP Pollsters Whit Ayres and Dave Sackett note that some attacks on Obamacare are less effective than others. In searching for the right message that could translate anti-Obamacare sentiment into votes, they tested dozens of possibilities.

While 53 percent of Americans hold negative views on Obamacare most people also have no personal experience with the Affordable Care Act, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found, according to Politico.

The GOP messages that work best with independents, seniors, and tea party supporters include claims that the Affordable Care Act is a government takeover of healthcare, that people lost good existing health coverage because of Obamacare, and that enrollees have to pay higher deductibles.

Another argument that resonates is that worker hours will be cut because businesses can't afford the expense of covering fulltime employees.

Democrats say that these and other "persuasive" arguments against Obamacare are inaccurate or misleading, Politico reported.

For their part, Democrats will be pushing the message that opposition to the Affordable Care Act shows Republicans are insensitive to people who have trouble getting coverage due to preexisting medical conditions.

It could be that Obamacare is no longer an issue that galvanizes most voters and that political messaging does not have much impact, according to Politico.

Democratic analyst Stan Greenberg says it is important for Republicans that Obamacare be an issue in the 2014 campaign "because they want to come out with a mandate for resisting it or repealing it," Politico reported.

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