August 21, 2018


Once their rallying cry, Obamacare is suddenly a sticky campaign issue for Republicans (JENNIFER HABERKORN, AUG 21, 2018, LA Times)
For the first time in nearly a decade, Republicans are heading into a national election divided and defensive over healthcare, the very issue that once propelled them to majorities in the House and Senate.

After failing to deliver on their years-long promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act and faced with the sudden popularity of Obamacare's consumer protections, GOP candidates across the country are struggling to put together a cohesive message on healthcare.

Die-hards still want to repeal the 2010 law, but a growing number of Republicans -- particularly those facing tough elections -- want to quietly admit defeat and move on to other issues.

"Even to bring it up is picking at the scab," said Joe Antos, a health policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. "It's reminding people that they [failed]. The base isn't that stupid."

Other GOP candidates find themselves trying to thread an awkward needle of opposing Obamacare -- a law that is still unpopular with base voters -- while supporting some of its key provisions. A few Republicans who once called for the repeal of Obamacare are now even embracing it, albeit cautiously.

Posted by at August 21, 2018 8:04 PM


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