Republicans are moving away from their call to repeal the Affordable Care Act as the midterm elections approach, The Hill reports.
Despite campaigning heavily on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans couldn't pass their bill last year, giving Democrats the chance to attack the GOP for failing to follow through on their promise.
Antonio Delgado, a Democrat running against GOP Rep. John Faso in New York, recently began running an ad claiming Faso broke his promise to protect those with pre-existing conditions. According to the Cook Political Report, the race is a toss-up.
Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told The Hill that public opinion on Obamacare has shifted in Democrats' favor.
"I don't think it's seen as a winning issue," he said. "It's also an issue that tends to fire up the Democratic base more so than the Republican base."
Some in the GOP see the House as suffering for the Senate's failure, since the bill to repeal Obamacare passed the lower chamber with the help of Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., but couldn't find sufficient support in the Senate.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said that "the Senate has sabotaged the issue," but said that a Democratic attack on the repeal won't work in his district.
"If that's the attack, bring it on in my district, every district's different, but I'm in a state where we're not even a Medicaid expansion state because that's considered Obamacare," Cole said.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said "no," when asked if the GOP should campaign on repealing Obamacare this year.
"Frankly I think we should be running more on our positive issues, starting with tax reform," Collins said.
He added that instead of targeting Obamacare, the GOP should go after Democrats for pushing a single-payer healthcare system.
"When one of our opponents comes out and says ‘I want a single payer system,' sure I'll take it to them, but I don't think we should be leading with it," Collins said. "I think to some extent we've moved beyond that message."
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