The sinking fortunes of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, have emerged as a last gust of wind on the backs of struggling Republican Senate candidates and Donald J. Trump, the party's nominee, less than two weeks before Election Day.
The question remains: Will it be enough?
One week before this year's enrollment for Obamacare came the Obama administration's announcement that the average premium exchange would soar 25 percent next year for users of the president's signature legislation.
With Obamacare already highly unpopular with middle-class voters who have felt the biggest pinch, the latest news gives GOP congressional candidates and Trump a window to remind voters of the perils and partisanship of the law.
The key for the GOP is while the costs might not impact every voter, they are a reminder of what an overreaching government can do to consumers.
They are also a reminder for the GOP to outline what a new Democratic super-majority could do to their pocketbooks with other big legislative policy pushes like climate change or cap and trade.
If they are wise, congressional candidates – as well as the nominee – should adopt House Speaker Paul Ryan's consistent push of not only being against Obamacare and calling for its repeal, but reminding voters the House has consistently offered replacement proposals that would lower premiums by providing consumers with a wider choice of health-plan options.
Ryan said Tuesday the Republicans do want to get rid of Obamacare but have a replacement ready that would offer "real, patient-centered solutions that fit your needs and your budget."
"The president recently compared Obamacare to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7," Ryan said in a statement. "He's right: This disastrous law is blowing up. But at least you can return the phone."
The Democrats are arguing above the bad news that is hitting folks' pocketbooks. Democratic National Committee woman chair Donna Brazile wrote in a statement:
"Trump's latest claim that the Affordable Care Act is 'blowing up' is as unfounded as his claim that he's 'winning the election.'"
Clinton has taken a different approach using the faithful scare tactic to keep voters on her side; she admitted Wednesday that costs are skyrocketing but told a Florida radio station that repealing Obamacare would make it even scarier.
"If you think costs have gone up with the recent weeks, it will just skyrocket as the insurance companies will be in charge again," Clinton said.
Middle-class consumers, especially small business owners and their employees, have long been the hardest hit with the exchanges, but they also crippled many of the health-insurance companies offering policies through the public exchanges. In short, they are losing money.
To date, United Healthcare, Aetna and Humana are no longer part of most of the exchanges; those that are still in the exchange expect to spike their prices beginning next year.
The key closing argument for House and Senate Republicans should be a reminder of what can happen when any party holds a super-majority in Washington. Obamacare was put in place because Obama and the Democrats held both chambers in Congress when the law was passed.
Salena Zito covers national politics for Newsmax.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.