The Campaign Spot

Doesn’t Taking Away Your Doctor Count as a ‘War on Women’?

Today’s Morning Jolt features “Bashir Madness” and how parents’ gripes about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade spurred the counter-accusation of homophobia; but Obamacare, once again, remains Issue One:

Doesn’t Wrecking the Health-Care System Count as a ‘War on Women’?

Look, low-interest voters. You’ve been told to hate Republicans for all of your adult lives, mostly recently because they want to ban birth control and divorce and other nonsensical accusations.

What Republicans have never done is confidently implement a massive, complicated plan to overtake how you get your health care, assure you that you can keep your plan and your doctor, break that promise, make you pay more, refer you to a dysfunctional web site and then keep assuring you that someday you’ll love it.

Women have noticed.

It’s not the voters who hate Obamacare the most who are going to matter in next year’s elections. It’s the independents who frequently side with Democrats but could, if propelled by a distaste for the health care law, take a serious look at the GOP in 2014. And on this front, Democrats have a big problem with one of their most crucial constituencies — white women.

Polling provided to National Journal by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that white women have soured considerably on the law, especially in the month since its botched rollout. The skepticism runs especially deep among blue-collar women, sometimes known as “waitress moms,” whose deeply pessimistic attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act should riddle Democratic candidates with anxiety.

Certainly, the law’s unpopularity gives Republicans a tool to counter the Democratic claim of a GOP “war on women” — something Republicans failed miserably at in 2012. But more significantly, it demonstrates that Democrats will have to fight just to retain core elements of their constituency. With 2014’s most important campaigns already lying in hostile territory like Alaska, Arkansas, and South Dakota, it’s a battle many of these candidates can ill afford.

The “you can’t keep your plan” part has been sinking in. Next, the “you can’t see your doctor” part. Check out this real-life nightmare:

Meet Chico, Calif., attorney Kenneth Turner. His wife found out that she has breast cancer two days before they received their cancellation notice. She’s scheduled for surgery Dec. 20 and will hear the prognosis Dec. 30. Two days later, she loses the doctor who will have operated on her, as well as other doctors she has seen for decades . . . 

Blue Shield is restricting access to close to half of its doctors and a quarter of its hospitals in the individual market — and Blue Shield spokesman Steve Shivinsky told The Orange County Register these providers “had to agree to cut their rates” to get into the network.

In Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reported, Health Net individual policyholders will have access to less than a third of the doctors on employer plans.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, told the San Francisco Chronicle that all but three of the 12 state exchange providers limit doctors and hospitals.

Americans of all stripes know which party did this to them. And with President Obama adamant that the law will never be repealed while he’s president, they have exactly one way to effectively communicate their frustration: Sending a message at the ballot box in 2014.

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