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What’s Next in the GOP’s Obamacare Fight?

Obama's victory lap continues with a friendly CBO report as Republicans sharpen their focus on one of the law's main effects.

by
Bill Straub

Bio

April 16, 2014 - 12:22 am
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WASHINGTON – President Obama continues to tout what the White House views as the success of the Affordable Care Act after exceeding its health insurance enrollment goals but Republicans are continuing the search for soft spots to attack in a law they maintain remains unpopular with the public.

The administration has taken an extended home run trot since it was revealed on April 1 that 7.1 million Americans had signed up for private insurance coverage under what is popularly known as Obamacare. That number doesn’t include another 4.5 million people who qualify for Medicaid under the law and 3 million aged 26 or under covered by their parents’ healthcare plans.

Since then, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that “12 million more nonelderly people will have health insurance in 2014 than would have had it in the absence of the ACA” and that the program will have “a net cost of $36 billion for 2014, $5 billion less than the previous projection for the year; and $1,383 billion for the 2015–2024 period.”

Bolstered by what the administration considers good news, Obama was sufficiently confident to assert recently that “the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”

“In the end, history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security,” Obama said. “Nobody remembers well those who stand in the way of America’s progress or our people. And that’s what the Affordable Care Act represents. As messy as it’s been sometimes, as contentious as it’s been sometimes, it is progress. It is making sure that we are not the only advanced country on earth that doesn’t make sure everybody has basic healthcare.”

Obamacare has never carried the support of a majority of Americans and Republicans plan to use that in the approaching November elections. But recent polls indicate a possible thaw. An ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted March 26-30, showed for the first time support outpacing opposition with 49 percent expressing approval and 48 percent continuing to oppose. That’s up from last November when 40 percent approved and 57 percent disapproved.

A bipartisan National Public Radio poll released earlier this week continued to show public dissatisfaction but the margins are narrowing – 47 percent said they favor the law while 51 percent oppose.

A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released in late March found that support for repealing the law and demands that the debate continue are a Republican thing. But all that news is coupled with other surveys, like the one released last week by Pew Research, showing that only 37 percent of those questioned approve of the law while 50 percent oppose.

Congressional Republicans have been relatively tepid in their response to the enrollment news.

“We don’t know of course, exactly what they have signed up for,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky. “We don’t know how many have paid. What we do know is that all across the country our constituents are having an unpleasant interaction with Obamacare. Whether they can sign up for a policy or not, they are discovering, of course, higher premiums, a higher deductible. Many of them are losing their jobs and so it is really is a catastrophe for the country, both for the healthcare providers and the consumers.”

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, challenged the White House, asserting that “billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted. Five million Americans have received cancellation notices. Only a small percentage of the uninsured have signed up. Is that really success?”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Surrender and campaign on running it smarter, also know as the usual.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no GOP fight against Obamacare. What is this author looking for, the Loch Boehner Monster? The last person to suggest fighting Obamacare was Ted Cruz and he was crucified for even making the suggestion. I think Ted made John Boehner cry, and that made John mad and he and Mitch now focus most of their fight on Ted, not Obamacare. My Congressman, the ever vigilant Republcan David Joyce, said "Obamacare is the law of the land". He said get used to it. It is done.

On a serious note, Matt Lynch is an actual fighter and he is running against the useless career politician David Joyce. Matt would fight this awful bill and actually work to dethrone the crybaby John Boehner and install a Speaker who actually cares about defending America. Until that happens, don't expect any fight from the House of Representatives. Except about Ted Cruz. He really gets John Boehner upset.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nothing, there is no Obamacare fight. Conservatives have had five years to come up with a better plan to zero effect. Sure, plenty of opportunists will campaign against Obamacare but with no alternative whatsoever their slogans will fall flat. Just like the annual refrain "we need to reach out to women/hispanics/gays/blacks, we need to be more inclusive" absolutely nothing will happen. Republican leadership is great on attack, not so much on solutions. Clive Bundy for President!
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
..."those who stand in the way of America’s progress or our people. And that’s what the Affordable Care Act represents."

As you can see by the above, he is telling the absolute truth. He and ACA are standing in the way of America's progress.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's NEXT for the gop's fight???? Is that supposed to be a trick question? We should be asking "when is the gop going to START fighting?"!!! The only republicans who've actually stood up and tried to fight this monstrosity have been systematically stabbed in the back by the gop.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am trying to grow used to the fact that O-care is here to stay. Unless we get Cruz, Palin, or those like them, I see no Republican (not even ole Huckabee) that has the stones to repeal/dismantle this. I have even less faith in our elected House Reps. They could have stopped plenty since 2010, but folded like a cheap suit at the thought of negative press. They have no fight, only bluster, unless the end results enriches them or increases their power.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Simple math here (that apparently eludes the "Republi-crats"): 7.1 million signed up (that can actually PAY for insurance themselves) - 5 million who (like me, got the insurance plan they CHOOSE cancelled) = 2.1 million "actual paying customers". We (like everyone else cancelled) are paying more for less. God forbid either of us has to be hospitalized!! On our old plan a hospital admittance co-pay was $400.00. On our "bright, shiny, new, improved, Obamacare plan", it would be a 30% co-pay!!!! QUESTION: Do we still have the right to refuse going to the Hospital, or are we forced to COMPLETELY bankrupt ourselves if a Dr. or EMT wants to take us there?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but an overwhelming percentage of the enrollees receive subsidies. The ACA is supposed to be "self-funding" so where is the shortfall in revenue coming from? The government is cooking the books on the ACA and in the next 5 or so years, if the law stays on the books, that fact will become obvious. Obama has already appropriated over $700 million from Medicare to help fund the ACA. This will not end.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Republicans are fighting Obamacare? Did you get that from an RNC press release?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
In 2012 Mitt Romney promised to repeal Obamacare.

In 2016, whoever the Republicans nominate will promise not to repeal the ACA but will instead improve it.

By 2016, Mitt Romney will be telling people the ACA should be called Romneycare.

Just a prediction.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, the numbers are a success. A success of forcing Americans to purchase insurance they neither want nor require.

Yes, "Success."

The boot just got planted a bit firmer onto all of our neck's...
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Surrender and campaign on running it smarter, also know as the usual.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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