What ever happened to Obamacare — the unpopular healthcare bill that was to be the Republicans big weapon as they battled for control of the Senate this fall? For sure, the Affordable Care Act has been pushed to the sidelines by the chaos in Iraq, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the surge in Central American minors across our border, the Veterans Administration scandal, the pestilential virus rampaging across the computers of the federal government, and so much more…
Now, the GOP should circle back. There are nine Senate seats described as “toss-ups” by Real Clear Politics, and Obamacare could move the needle in some of those races. The ACA is still a political stink bomb, with Kaiser Family Foundation polling showing only 37 percent of the country views the law favorably – one of its lowest ratings since it passed in 2010. Some 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the ACA – up a shocking 8 points since June.
Democrats understandably have neglected to highlight Obamacare on their campaign sites. Instead, for example, North Carolina’s Kay Hagan implores visitors to “Take a Stand Against the Koch Brothers,” which must confuse the uninitiated. Bruce Braley, running in Iowa, focuses on veterans’ issues and the farm bill. Nary a word on Mr. Obama’s legacy issue.
Several GOP campaign sites go light on Obamacare too. Thom Tillis in North Carolina broadcasts Kay Hagan’s close ties to President Obama, while David Perdue in Georgia emphasizes his business background. Joni Ernst, running neck in neck for the Iowa seat, brags on her front page, “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so in Washington I’ll know how to cut pork.” Some local color.