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Monday, December 09, 2019

In Midterm, Republicans Abandon Obamacare Repeal

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com

Republicans have abandoned repeal of Obamacare as part of their electoral arsenal, reflecting the utter failure of their past efforts.

Since its passage, the GOP has told voters that if they took control they would “repeal and replace” the law that has helped millions to gain health insurance.

But now, as Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) admits to the Washington Post, “We probably can’t talk credibly about repeal and replace anymore.”

The paper notes that the issue has gone missing from the websites of numerous Republican candidates. The change has occurred in swing states as well as Democratic and Republican ones.

Trump easily won Kentucky by 30 points, but repealing Obamacare is nowhere to be found on Rep. Andy Barr’s site. In 2012, Barr listed repeal as one of his top three priorities.

When Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock ran for her seat in 2014, she promised to push legislation “repealing and replacing Obamacare.” But now she faces a tough re-election in a district rated as a “toss-up.”

And as the Post notes, “She’s not talking about [repeal] anymore.”

Her state recently elected a Democratic governor, and polls have shown that supporting Obamacare repeal hurt the Republican nominee.

In July 2017, the crusade that had consumed the GOP for seven years and was a key topic over multiple election cycles finally came to an end. The resulting humiliation enraged Trump and embarrassed Republican lawmakers.

Obamacare, which passed with only Democratic support, has continued to increase in popularity.

By contrast, the Republican alternative — which would have stripped coverage from millions — was extremely unpopular. It gave Republican senators cover to help kill the bill, which was opposed by all Democrats in Congress.

On the campaign trail, Trump said repealing Obamacare would be “so easy.”

But in the presidency, he and his party have found that it is difficult to get away with hurting so many millions of people.

So Republicans have quietly given up and removed references to repealing the law, likely hoping that no one will notice or remember.

But erasing words from a website doesn’t erase history. The Republicans’ full-court press in 2017 to repeal the health care law got them nowhere.

There’s an energized wave coming, blue voters who have not forgotten the attacks on their health care. And they are ready to make Republicans pay the price at the polls.

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