GOP Loses A Battle Over Obamacare But Continues War

Media outlets report that conservatives aren't done fighting the health care law. Obamacare was always going to be a major issue in the 2014 midterm elections, and the disastrous launch of the online health insurance marketplaces is likely to play into conservative arguments that the Democrats overreached.

NPR: How The GOP's Shutdown Over Obamacare Fell Short
Remember how that fight over the budget was all about Obamacare? Seems like ancient history now, but House Republicans ostensibly shut down the government 17 days ago, demanding first a defunding, and, when that failed, a year's delay in the health law. When it became clear that President Obama and Senate Democrats weren't going to yield to demands to stop or slow implementation of the administration's signature legislative achievement, Republicans looked for smaller changes (Rovner, 10/17).

The Washington Post: Conservative Republicans Aren’t Done Fighting The New Health-Care Law
Fresh off an unsuccessful attempt to block the president’s sweeping Affordable Care Act, several conservative Republicans announced Thursday that they have decided on their next political target: the Affordable Care Act. The temporary resolution of the budget battle is likely to intensify, rather than lessen, public scrutiny of the health-care law, commonly known as Obamacare. Chronic problems with the online enrollment system — which have diminished but not disappeared since its Oct. 1 launch — were largely overshadowed by the 16-day fiscal standoff in Washington (Eilperin, 10/17).

Politico: Obamacare Wins? See You In 2014
Obamacare was always going to be a major issue in the mid-term elections, since so many of its major pieces — the new health coverage, the online marketplaces where the coverage is available, the expansion of Medicaid, and the hated individual mandate — become real in January. But now, Democrats will also have to talk about a federal health insurance website that barely anyone can use. Even White House spokesman Jay Carney was reduced to arguing Thursday that Obamacare isn’t just a website — after Obama has been saying it would be as easy as shopping for flat-screen TVs online. That’s why, even though Republicans have been damaged in the short term by the Obamacare fight they picked, there’s no reason to believe the Obama administration and Democrats will have an easy time in the months ahead, according to health care analysts and political strategists from both parties (Nather, 10/17).

Politico: Democratic Pollster: GOP Suffers From ACA Talk
Republicans’ high-stakes wagers over Obamacare are dramatically hurting them in the eyes of the public — that’s the message from Democrats just a day after the government shutdown ended with no major concessions on the health law. “Each time Republicans ratchet up their efforts to delay or defund the ACA instead of focusing on what should be their No. 1 priority — strengthening our economic recovery and creating jobs — they suffer,” Obama campaign pollster Joel Benenson wrote Thursday in a memo obtained by POLITICO. Approval of congressional Republicans is drastically low, Benenson says. An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted last week found that only 21 percent of people approve of Republicans on the Hill. A Pew poll last week found a 20 percent approval rating, the lowest ever recorded, according to Benenson (Haberkorn, 10/17).

Meanwhile, the Washington Post's fact checker examines some of Sen. Ted Cruz's arguments against the law --

The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: Ted Cruz’s Claims On Obamacare Focus On Losers, Not Winners
In the wake of the defeat of his effort to derail the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) continues to make assertions about the law that have puzzled and concerned readers. But it’s hard to know where to begin, as he repeatedly uses language that sketches the law in apocalyptic terms, even though the law has barely begun to be implemented. So we will focus on a few key items (Kessler, 10/18).

 

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