Van Hollen: Dem Caucus Told 'Don't Run Away from the Affordable Care Act'

The past chairman of the Democratic National Campaign Committee predicted “Democrats are going to be increasingly on the offense on the Affordable Care Act even as we talk about other critical issues” heading toward the midterm elections.


Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told MSNBC that “the number one issue, of course, on the minds of American people, jobs and the economy, but the Affordable Care Act will get people more economics certainty.”

“I think Republicans are going to make a big mistake by doubling down on their anti-Affordable Care message. People are tired of it,” he continued. “They want to improve it as we go along, not shut down the government to get rid of it, not vote for the 53rd time to get rid of it — especially, one, as you know, and the American people know, the Republicans have not put any alternative on the table. They want to go back to the days when the insurance companies called all the shots.”

Van Hollen echoed DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in saying that anyone who thought the Florida special congressional election last week was a referendum on Obama “misread” the results.

“It is a Republican-leaning district, then they got more Republicans out. But, in terms of the message on the Affordable Care Act, the Republican message did not work there just like it did not work in the Virginia governor’s race where Terry McAuliffe said he would support the Affordable Care Act, he want to improve it where it was broken, but move forward on it,” Van Hollen said.


“…Let them talk all about the Affordable Care Act and how they want to get rid of it. We’re going to talk about how it helps people, but also where our voters are focused, which is of course jobs, economy, minimum wage, and it’s part of the package of economic security and moving the country forward. So, Republicans have only a negative message, people know that, they want a positive message that’s going to move the country forward.”

Van Hollen said the message in the Democratic caucus is “don’t run away from the Affordable Care Act.”

“Be strong about Obamacare, but also, again, focus on those other fundamental questions, right, economic security issues, minimum wage, trying to make sure that more people have benefit from a growing economy, getting the economy kicked in the higher gear, all that is part and parcel of said message. The Affordable Care Act is an important piece of it.”


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