The Corner

Democrats Running Ads Criticizing Obamacare

In Florida’s 26th district, Democrats are running away from the president completely, and Obamacare in part:

Now, it is true that Garcia doesn’t call for repeal. Indeed, the ad boasts that the candidate is “working to fix” the law, and it praises him both for holding “insurance companies accountable” and for defending the provision that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. But it is fascinating to watch a Political Action Committee associated with Nancy “we’re going to run on Obamacare” Pelosi slamming the White House for “the disastrous healthcare website” and boasting — without any time qualification, it should be said — that its man “voted to let you keep your existing health plan.”

Persistent defenders of the law are correct when they point out that conservatives often simplify the question at hand and presume that, because a majority is unhappy with Obamacare, that majority wants to repeal the whole damn thing. Indeed, the data shows that it does not. Nevertheless, when it comes down to actual change, politics often does become a binary game and our representatives are expected to filter complexity into a “yes” or a “no.” There is nothing in this commercial, for example, that suggests that Garcia wouldn’t vote for the replacement plan that Tom Coburn and others introduced late last month — nor that he wouldn’t be interested in a seriously pared down law. So, sure: it’s not as if Garcia and his friends are manning the barricades and reading notes prepared by Ted Cruz. But, in Florida’s 26th district — as in much of the country one presumes — the choice in 2014 is going to be between a candidate who is criticizing Obamacare and a candidate who wants to get rid of it completely. Democrats are being forced to have a conversation they’d rather not have. Bottom line: The issue isn’t dead — far from it.

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