President Obama’s disastrous health-care law – featuring a failed website, forced cancellation of policies, skyrocketing premiums and favors for the president’s friends – is giving Republicans ammunition as the 2014 midterm elections approach.
The Americans for Prosperity group, backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, already is aiming at three of the “most vulnerable” Senate Democrats, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
The New York Times, which long has backed Obamacare, explained the organization is making the three races an issue as part of a $3.5 million advertising campaign.
The three senators facing headwinds are in states where voters rejected Obama in the 2012 election.
“We want to make sure Obamacare is the No. 1 issue they’re thinking about,” Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, told the Times. “We believe repealing Obamacare is a long-term effort, and a key part of that effort is keeping it in front of the American people night and day.”
His group also is taking aim at several Democrats in the House, which already has a GOP majority: Joe Garcia and Patrick Murphy of Florida and Ron Barber of Arizona.
The Times reported the ads “are specifically aimed at women because the group’s research has shown that they are not only more undecided than men about the merits of the Affordable Care Act, but that they also tend to make the decisions about their family’s health care.”
One ad states: “Health care isn’t about politics. It’s not about a website that doesn’t work. It’s not about poll numbers or approval ratings. It’s about people. And millions of people have lost their health insurance.”
A new CBS poll this week showed the Obamacare disaster’s impact. The poll showed only 7 percent want to keep it like it is. A full 91 percent said it either must be changed or eliminated entirely.
The Denver Post found Obamacare is dragging down anything else Obama might want to do. In an unscientific poll, nearly 83 percent believe the “botched” Obamacare rollout means Obama’s chances of success pushing other items on his agenda are diminishing rapidly.
One key indicator, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, is that Democrats – more than three dozen – already have started defecting from Obama’s health-care strategy.
Obamacare has been one of the most politically divisive issues ever, with all Democrats supporting it when it was voted on and all Republicans in opposition.
The 39 Democrats who recently voted for a GOP “fix” for one of Obamacare’s multitude of problems “set a high-water mark in Republicans’ efforts to win support from across the aisle to amend or delay portions of the law.”
The report pointedly noted: “Democrats who voted for the Republican plan face headwinds in their re-election efforts next year, as most have been targeted by the House Republican campaign arm for supporting the health law. … The effects of that pressure appeared to bear fruit.”
A recent report by Real Clear Politics also noted the reaction of Americans.
“As the president giggled and played rock, paper, scissors with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-8 Conference in Ireland, the bloom appears to have begun to come off the Obaman Rose as far as the American people are concerned,” the report said.
At that time, Obama’s approval rating, according to a poll, was 45 percent. It has since plunged to under 40 in polling.
Real Clear Politics said: “If Obama continues to sink in popularity and trust then Democrats running for election or re-election for the U.S. House and Senate will start being wary of being seen with, or heard supporting the president.”
Yahoo News reported the impact of the failed Obamacare rollout already has been felt, pointing to the recent gubernatorial race in Virginia.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, with the full weight of Obama’s endorsement and national backing, barely squeaked past Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who essentially was running a solo effort.
The report noted McAuliffe, who outspent Cuccinelli by $32 million to $20 million, won by fewer than 55,000 votes statewide.
Bloggers have detected panic developing among Democrats.
Larry O’Connor at Breitbart.com reported that Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., disabled the embedding function of a video in which he repeated Obama’s assurance that “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance.”
The video is here:
“Someone in the senator’s office must be concerned about the fact that blogs and news sites have picked up on the broken pledge and have embedded the video on their sites,” O’Connor wrote.
Warner had promised that he was “not going to support a health care reform plan that’s going to take away health care that you’ve got right now or a health plan that you like.”
Many pundits have labeled Obama’s assurance a plain lie, citing evidence in the Federal Register that administration officials were predicting as early as 2010 that tens of millions of Americans would be kicked off their health insurance policies by Obamacare.