“I’m not 100% sure what you mean by the term ‘Obamacare’, but I have passed legislation making sure the average American receives comprehensive healthcare!” – Every Democrat Running for Reelection this November
There’s a campaign video out there of Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. It’s nothing all that unusual really. Only 30-seconds long. In it he talks about being diagnosed with cancer and how he voted for a law that would make it illegal for insurance companies to cancel policies if you were to get sick.
Did you catch that? It was presented so nonchalantly that you would be forgiven if you didn’t notice.
Pryor in the ad talks about being diagnosed with cancer and how he voted for a law that would make it illegal for insurance companies to cancel policies if you were to get sick. Yup, that’s right. Pryor is talking about how he voted for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The even more interesting part of all this, never once are the words “Obamacare” or “Affordable Care Act” uttered in the 30-second ad!
Like many Democrats, Pryor is finding it tricky to campaign in a post-Obamacare world. Even after implementation, the ACA remains as divisive issue among the public. After seeing some of the public sentiment toward the ACA, you really can’t blame them.
In a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-partisan group that focuses on major health care issues, they found that 46% of Americans looked at the ACA law unfavorably. That’s almost half! And before you ask, yes. The Republicans know this and are hammering that point home during their midterm campaigns.
It’s not that surprising that Republicans continue to vilify the ACA as a symbol for big government waste which drains the economy as a whole. The House GOP has voted over 50 times to either repel or change the law while in session. In cases like these, the point isn’t necessarily to overturn the law, but to associate the ACA with terrible legislation. And if the Kaiser Family Foundation study is any indication of American views, it’s working.
Yet the actuality, many elements within the ACA are very popular among the general public.
In a separate study also done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, they found that the general public overwhelmingly loved many aspects of the ACA. The only problem? Most of them didn’t know these elements were part of the law to begin with. Popular ideas like tax credits for small businesses to buy insurance and creation of health insurance exchanges were thought not to be part of the ACA.
So there’s the catch-22 by the Democrats. How do you highlight the popular elements on the ACA without mentioning it by name during the midterms?
Suddenly ads like Pryor’s make a whole lot more sense.