“The reality is that we’ve passed these bills through the House and the Senate,” Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said in an interview that airs Sunday on State of the Union. “The Republican candidates are going to campaign against us on it. The question is: We’ve got the vote, are we going to have the achievement? Are we going to have the accomplishment?”
The top Obama adviser also laid out a number of immediate impacts that the White House says will result from passage of the legislation, including prohibiting insurance companies from excluding coverage of pre-existing conditions in children, ending lifetime and annual caps on coverage, closing of the so-called “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, shoring up the financial solvency of the Medicare system, and giving tax credits to small business.
Then, Axelrod suggested that enacting health care reform could help Democrats in November’s elections by forcing Republicans to run against those immediate changes.
“If they want to have that fight, let’s have that fight,” he told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
During the interview, Axelrod, who was one of Obama’s top strategists during the presidential campaign, also took a shot at some leading Capitol Hill Republicans over their recent comments about the effect supporting health care reform could have in November’s midterms.
“[Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell has been generous. [House Minority Leader] John Boehner has been generous in giving advice to Democrats about how perilous this vote [on health care reform] is. I wonder what their motivations are in offering us advice about how to strengthen our party,” Axelrod said.
And Axelrod also predicted that Democrats would ultimately be successful in achieving one of Obama’s top priorities on his domestic agenda.
“We’re very optimistic about the outcome of this process,” Axelrod said when asked about the president’s recent decision to delay an overseas trip in order to be in Washington when a health care vote is expected in the House. “I think that people have come to the realization that this is the moment and if we don’t act now there’ll be dire consequences for people all over this country.”
Axelrod added, “I think we will have the votes to pass this.”
Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN