Politics & Policy

Dems Use Health Care as a Wedge Issue in Nevada

The war over votes in key demographics wages on in Nevada.

One might assume that federal health care reform legislation–opposed by 55 percent of Nevadans, with a full 45 percent saying they would like to see it repealed–would be an issue on which the GOP could successfully rip Democrats this campaign season.

It is, but the Dems are finding ways to work it to their advantage as well.

Earlier this week, Sharron Angle was criticized, demonized, deconstructed and defended (sorta) for her position on mandated health care coverage for autism and other diagnoses that often fall under that diagnostic label (a controversial subject in and of itself). 

Here is the clip of the remarks in question, which Angle made at the big Searchlight tea party rally in March:


The Reid campaign characterized Angle’s comments as callous and as “mocking health care coverage for autism” and hammered her relentlessly with press releases and Tweets. Now they are out with another “extreme-and-dangerous” television ad referring back to one of Angle’s health care related votes in the state assembly:

As a morning flash from perspicacious pundit Jon Ralston pointed out, Team Reid obviously believes they can score points by pointing to a health care mandate that many voters over 40–the age at which many primary care physicians recommend a colonoscopy cancer screening–would probably support:

Looks as if the Harry Reid autism hit was prelude to a broader attack on Sharron Angle for opposing basic coverage mandated by state lawmakers, including for colon cancer. Angle and fellow reliable “No” vote Don Gustavson were on the wrong end of a 39-2 vote in 2003. Any idea how many people go for colonoscopies? And that older demographic is one Reid needs to solidify — he may have made dents in older white men with that privatizing-the-VA ad spot and now this…

The issue will likely be used to hammer Joe Heck in NV-3 as well:

This attack will be picked up by HHS’s Kathleen Sebelius on Monday, when she will be in town to do a fundraiser for Rep. Dina Titus as well as blasting those calling for repeal of health care reform and being against insurance mandates. Could be a double hit on Angle and Titus opponent Joe Heck.

Could be one of few places in country where Democrats in trouble are raising health care reform to rally the base.

With both the House and Senate races polling within the margin of error and the potential to be decided by as few as a few thousand votes, both political parties and their candidates will continue to hammer one another on wedge issues like health care and immigration.

Update (3:19 p.m.): The Sharron Angle campaign emailed the following statement to BATTLE ‘10 about her position on coverage for autism:

Sharron believes that anyone affected with autism deserves the best medical coverage and treatment, and she speaks out against these expensive government mandates which falsely label other symptoms as autism because it creates this huge cottage industry that drives up health insurance cost while diluting the needed coverage for those patients affected by autism.

The real issue continues to be about these costly burdensome government mandates that are forced upon citizens by career politicians like Harry Reid through unwanted legislation like Obamacare, and nobody is buying Senator Reid’s latest despicable attempt of trying to distract voters from his failed record.


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