There’s a new twist in the political war over health care
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Another political cycle, another fight over health care — but this time with a twist. Unlike in 2010, 2014 and even in 2016, Democrats are no longer playing defense on the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, with less than two months before Election Day.
“That’s me, shooting the cap-and-trade bill because it was bad for West Virginia,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. says in his latest TV ad. “Now the threat is [Republican] Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuit to take away health care from people with pre-existing conditions. He’s just dead wrong, and that ain’t going to happen” — as Manchin fires a gun into what appears to be the lawsuit by Morrisey and 19 other state attorneys generals and states arguing that Obamacare is unconstitutional.
Here’s another Democratic TV ad airing in Missouri’s Senate race between Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Josh Hawley: “2.5 million Missourians have pre-existing conditions. Their attorney general, Josh Hawley, went to court to rip away health care, filing a lawsuit to allow insurance companies to deny care while taking big bucks from the insurance industry.”
Missouri and West Virginia aren’t exactly Blue America. But these TV ads come as polls show Americans’ attitudes about Obamacare at all-time highs, while opinions about GOP replacement plans are more negative.
Meanwhile, NBC’s Benjy Sarlin, Lauren Egan and Rebecca Shabad write how Republican TV ads are taking aim at Democrats over single-payer — from Colorado’s gubernatorial contest to House races across the country. Here’s the salvo from Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., in that marquee KY-6 congressional contest:
“Where does Amy McGrath stand on health care? [McGrath audio] ‘If we were to, build a health care system from scratch, single payer would be the way to go.’ [Audio ends] Amy McGrath’s single-payer socialist plan, government run health care, eliminates private plans, cost thirty two trillion dollars, doubles your federal taxes and ends Medicare as we know it.” (Note: McGrath, who says the U.S. health care system is NOT starting from scratch, doesn’t support a single-payer system and instead advocates a public option and Medicare buy-in for those over the age of 65.)
The health care wars — they never stop…
However, a consequence of Republicans messaging against single-payer is that they’re — intentionally or not — codifying Obamacare. They’re not attacking Dems for supporting the status quo. That’s a big deal.