Obamacare Repeal A GOP Albatross As Midterm Elections Near
Buoyed by new polls, Democrats are hanging the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act around the necks of GOP Congressional candidates during this fall’s midterm election campaigns as they seek to takeover control of Congress.
It could be a successful strategy, according to polls and even some frustrated Republicans.
The GOP’s effort to repeal Obamacare and roll back Medicaid expansion helped make surprisingly close a race for a Republican-leaning Ohio U.S. House seat that has yet to be decided almost a week after the election. Even Republicans admit that the unpopularity of Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress’ effort to take away healthcare spells bad electoral news.
“There’s no question that people sent a message . . . to Republicans … knock it off,” Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd last week on MTP Daily. “The chaos, the divisions, kids being separated from their parents at the border. These crazy tariffs. “
“(And) hey and we’re going to kill Obamacare which means you aren’t going to have any healthcare,” Kasich added. “Or, if you have a pre-existing condition, you might be out of luck. This is kind of what gets communicated. I cannot describe to you how amazing it was that the (Ohio 12th district) race was even close.”
Kasich’s rant against his fellow Republicans and their attempt to repeal the ACA and eliminate patient protections comes as GOP members of Congress are increasingly on the defensive across the country on a healthcare issue they used in the past to win elections.
But times have changed with 23 of 25 GOP House members in races rated “toss up” by Cook Political Report running in Medicaid expansion states , Cook’s latest ratings indicate.
“Republicans running for re-election in competitive districts have one thing in common: they overwhelmingly voted to take away Americans’ health care — and they’ll have to answer for this on the campaign trail,” says Amanda Harrington of the group Protect Our Care, which is campaigning to protect the ACA and tracking Congressional races on healthcare issues.