The DSCC: The Affordable Care Act? What Affordable Care Act?

by Jim Geraghty

Give credit where it’s due; unlike back in December, the homepage of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee now prominently features a section dealing with Obamacare/The Affordable Care Act, entitled “Faces of Repeal,” contending “millions of Americans will be hurt if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

(Particularly the IPAB “death panel” members who will lose their jobs deeming certain procedures insufficiently cost-effective, and those insurance-company executives who will be hurt without those “risk corridor” bailouts.)

The DCCC faces a steep uphill climb in picking up the 17 seats they need to take back control of the House and make Nancy Pelosi the speaker again.

At this point, the real action of 2014 will be in the red-state Senate races in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Dakota, and Montana. Unsurprisingly, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee isn’t so eager to talk about Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act — at least on its homepage.

The only reference to “health” on the DSCC homepage right now is a John Walsh tweet that “#MT can’t afford ppl like @SteveDaines who don’t believe in a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions” and a generic “war on women” blog post that claims, “We must do everything in our power to protect women’s rights and women’s health.”

The words “Affordable Care Act” and “Obamacare” do not currently appear on the homepage of the DSCC website, nor do the words “exchange” or “insurance” or any other reference to the president’s signature domestic legislation, impacting families, workers, and businesses right now.

Last week, a Democratic SuperPAC, House Majority PAC, touted vulnerable Arizona congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick by highlighting her criticism of the “disastrous healthcare website.” Recently, Representative Kurt Schrader (D., Ore.), had a brusque exchange with the White House chief of staff, suggesting that the administration’s defense of the law wasn’t having much effect on constituents upset about premium hikes:

I’m just a little country veterinarian from a small town in the great state of Oregon. So what do I know? I’m from a marginal district that they need to have that talks to people on a regular basis.

Finally, recently MSNBC’s Ed Schultz lamented, with surprise,

There does seem to be, for some reason, a reluctance by Democrats to run home and talk about how positive this health-care law is.