Health law a tough sell, although millions gain benefits

A New York Times analysis points out that many of those helped most by the health law are the least likely to cast votes to preserve it. CNN notes that Obamacare is a tough sell for embattled Democrats and a political analyst questions GOP strategy to run against the law. 

New York Times: Democrats Confront Vexing Politics Over The Health Care Law
When Franklin D. Roosevelt established Social Security, he created generations of loyal Democrats. When Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law, he built on that legacy, particularly with older Americans. And when George W. Bush instituted a new prescription drug benefit for Medicare, it helped reclaim elderly voters for Republicans. But President Obama's Affordable Care Act, the $1.4 trillion effort to extend health insurance to all Americans, is challenging the traditional calculus about government benefits and political impact (Martin, 4/19). 

The Wall Street Journal: Ted Cruz, Invoking Reagan, Angers GOP Colleagues But Wins Fans Elsewhere
Despite resistance from Senate Republicans and Democrats, he stood up before an empty Senate on Sept. 24 to argue Congress shouldn't renew government funding while the health law remained on the books. "I rise today in opposition to Obamacare," he said, launching a 21-hour monologue that included a reading of "Green Eggs and Ham." Mr. Cruz was roundly pilloried. ... While he lost his defunding attempt, he says he finds victory in the low approval ratings of Mr. Obama and his health-care law (Langley, 4/18). 

CNN: Why Are Some Democrats Running From Obamacare?
Polls have shown that voters love popular provisions calling for mandatory coverage for maternity care and extending coverage for young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance policies. And recent figures from the Congressional Budget Office show that Obamacare will cost about $5 billion less to implement in 2014 than originally estimated. Still, some Democrats have run from the President's signature health care reform law so fast, they've practically left skid marks. The question is: Will they run back? (Abdullah, 4/18).

CNN: Will GOP's Focus On Obamacare Pay Off In 2014 Midterms?
Nonpartisan political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg said Sunday it's hard to imagine Republicans can run entirely on a platform against Obamacare from now until the November midterm elections. "I think the cake has been baked on the (Affordable Care Act)," Rothenberg said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't think there are a bunch of people changing their opinions now." ... he said Republicans will need to do more this cycle than just train their fire against Obamacare (Killough, 4/20).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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