GOP Bears Down on Obamacare to Oust Democrats

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 08:19 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Even if Obamacare gains traction in the coming months, Republican House members are being advised to continue hammering the health care law, a narrative the GOP believes will carry them to victory in November, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"The intensity level of those who have been most affected by this law is greater on the negative side than on the positive side," Republican House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, of California, told the Journal. "I don't see that being a difficult conversation for us to have.”

The party directive comes on the heels of the White House’s proclamation that 7.5 million people have enrolled for coverage through state and federal exchanges. And the Congressional Budget Office’s announcement that premiums for plans sold on the exchange would cost less than anticipated, according to the Journal.

While some Democrats are using the information as evidence that Obamacare is working the way it was intended, Republicans suggest the figures are suspect, just like the law itself.

The Journal reports that a talking points memo sent to House Republicans last week – titled “Debunking Obamacare’s 7 million Enrollees ‘Success’ Story’”—the GOP argues that the White House has failed to answer important questions, such as the previously insured status of the newly enrolled, how many of the 7.5 million have paid their first premium, and how many of the 7.5 million are young and healthy.

The GOP hopes voters will see that Democrats lied to Americans when selling the president’s signature piece of legislation, The Hill reported last month.

In swing states with vulnerable Senate Democrats – Alaska’s Mark Begich and North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, for example -- Republicans are referring to the healthcare law as “BegichCare” and “HaganCare” to tie the lawmakers to their support of the law.

In a press release last month, Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan, touted: “New Report: BegichCare is a Job Killer,” The Hill reported.

Republicans are banking that voters will go to the polls in November to show their displeasure with Obamacare’s disastrous rollout along with numerous delays and the cancellation of millions of individual plans despite the president’s repeated promises to the contrary.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel tells the Journal that the GOP’s one-trick pony strategy – Obamacare – will backfire. Democrats, Israel maintained, are “winning with swing voters on every single economic issue.”

McCarthy countered that Dems are pretending the law has been a success, when it’s in fact highly flawed, according to the Journal.

"What they're trying to celebrate is not a celebration,” McCarthy said. They have now lowered the bar so far that it just proves the system is not working," he said.

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