ObamaCare was the pivotal issue that influenced the Republican resurgence in the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014. Once again it will be a major issue in 2016.
Kimberley Strassel, writing in The Wall Street Journal, notes the importance of this issue in key battleground states like Wisconsin and Indiana. In Wisconsin, Russ Feingold lost his Senate seat to Ron Johnson in 2010 largely because of his prominent role in the passage of ObamaCare. Feingold is running again against Johnson and still hasn’t learned the toxicity of his support for this healthcare law.
In a Politico interview last year, Feingold said he thought ObamaCare, over time, would work out, and “that’s exactly what’s happened.” Anyone who makes that claim is either badly misinformed or more interested in supporting liberal orthodoxy than telling his constituents the truth. Johnson should hammer Feingold on his continued support of ObamaCare.
In Indiana there is much the same situation. Former Senator Evan Bayh gave up his Senate seat in 2010 when he recognized his vote for ObamaCare made retirement seem more enticing than running for re-election. But now that Republican Senator Dan Coats is stepping down, Bayh wants his old seat back.
Republican Congressman Todd Young, who is running against Bayh, is touting his ObamaCare opposition credentials by telling voters of a bill he wrote to delay the individual mandate, as well as his support of Republican alternatives to the health law. This includes the currently proposed “Better Way” by Speaker Paul Ryan.
All of this is taking place at a time when voters are getting their new insurance bills for 2017 with rate increases of 29% in Indiana and 31% in Wisconsin.
Colorado is another state where ObamaCare is a big issue. Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, who also voted for the law, is being challenged by Republican Darryl Glenn. Glenn is wisely reminding voters of the collapse of the Colorado HealthOP, the state-run ObamaCare CO-OP, which left 80,000 Coloradoans without healthcare coverage and the state with a bill of $40 million.
Perhaps no state is more up for grabs right now than Arizona. Recent reports of declining healthcare exchange choices have hit this state hard. (Healthcare Choices Shrinking) Pinal County will have no choices on the ObamaCare exchange next year. This is a pivotal issue for Senator John McCain, who is running for re-election against Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who has only doubled-down on her support for the law.
The Democratic response now to the failures of ObamaCare is to call for revival of the “public option”, an idea so unpopular in the original healthcare debate it couldn’t even get Democratic support. But President Obama and campaigning Democrats now want us to believe this is the “solution” to ObamaCare.
In Florida, Democratic Senatorial candidate Rep. Patrick Murphy has embraced Hillary Clinton’s support of this idea. Incumbent Senator Marco Rubio is wisely hammering Murphy on this issue. A Rubio spokesman said, “Only Mr. Murphy could read the latest devastating headlines about the failure of ObamaCare and declare it a success that should be expanded.”
What all Americans should understand is that the “public option” Democrats are pushing once again is the surest route to socialized medicine – the liberal nirvana.
Even Democrats knew this was a bad idea back in 2010, but now they are so desperate to keep government control of healthcare they will even support this terrible idea. Republicans would be wise to make this a key issue in the election.