Republicans ramp up efforts to slam Obama health law
March 19th, 2012
10:24 AM ET
2 years ago

Republicans ramp up efforts to slam Obama health law

(CNN) – As the two year anniversary of President Barack Obama's health care law approaches, the already-popular object of Republican scorn looks to become even more prominent on the campaign trail and in political ads.

The law, which will be challenged at the U.S. Supreme Court in oral arguments later this month, was signed March 23, 2010, and the Republican National Committee said Monday they were using the occasion to aggressively "highlight the failed promise of one of the president's signature accomplishments," according to RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski.

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That effort will entail television ads on national cable airing in Washington, as well as ads running in cities Obama will visit on upcoming tour promoting American energy – Boulder City, Nevada; Carlsbad, New Mexico and Columbus, Ohio. All three states are considered battlegrounds in November's general election.

The RNC will also hit Obama's health law in ads in the election battlegrounds Pennsylvania and Virginia, states RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will visit to hold voter and press events later in March.

Online, the RNC said they would hammer the law with Google and banner ads targeted to voters in battleground states.

The effort will highlight what the RNC says are the negative effects of Obama's health law: increased costs for families and small businesses, and loss of coverage for millions of Americans.

"Obamacare, President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, turns 2 this month," RNC Political Director Rick Wiley wrote in a memo Sunday. "Prior to blowing out the candles on its birthday, let's think about it in terms of how it may prove to be the single biggest contributor to his defeat in November."

In his memo, Wiley spells out why Republicans are confident Americans will side with the GOP in slamming the president's health care law, citing polls showing voters mostly opposing the measure.

In a CNN/ORC poll taken November 18-20, 2011, 56% of Americans said they opposed the Affordable Care Act. Notably, however, only 37% opposed the law because they thought it went too far. Fourteen percent said the law didn't go far enough.

The CNN poll showed the expected partisan breakdown in Americans' opinion of the law, with 72% of Democrats favoring the legislation and 72% of Republicans opposing it because they thought it went too far.

In his memo, Wiley asserted the polling showed a belief that Americans don't think the law solved any health care problems.

"This law is so sickening to voters because they don't believe the law addresses the fundamental problem of healthcare's skyrocketing costs," Wiley wrote.

While Republicans are confident slamming the president's health care law will be a boon to their election prospects, Democrats have shown no signs of backing away from the measure.

Obama has made the law a big part of his campaign speech, telling a crowd in Chicago Friday the law meant "no one will go bankrupt when they get sick."

The 17-minute video produced by Obama's reelection organization also touts the law as a key achievement of his first term in office, using the president's mother's own experience dealing with inconsistent health insurance coverage to illustrate a system that needed fixing.

On Wednesday, Obama's campaign announced an effort to highlight the law's success, enlisting nurses to engage supporters on how the Affordable Care Act has positively impacted their work. Obama's team also launched a new website featuring videos from people whose say their lives were changed after the new health law.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • President Obama • RNC
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    Anyone else find the comedic value in a bunch of Republicans who have health care trying to take away from those of us who don't, or is it just me?

    March 19, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. brin3m

    RNC said they would hammer the law with Google and banner ads targeted to voters in battleground states

    thank goodness for Adblock!

    March 19, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Wouldn't it be something if just once republicans tried to do something for America instead of always trying to do something to America?

    March 19, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    "This law is so sickening to voters because they don't believe the law addresses the fundamental problem of healthcare's skyrocketing costs,"
    --------------------------------------------–
    If that's the case, why not have a single payer system? That's what most modernized countries have. If you ask governments what blueprint they used to make their healthcare law, they certainly didn't follow our model.

    March 19, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Scalia and Thomas should recuse themselves from the hearings on the Affordable Care Act.

    March 19, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Jess C

    After seeing the report on CNN last night I'm convinced now more than ever before the US is seriously lagging behind other countries with respect to health care; we rank 29 and that's nothing to be proud of. Though not perfect, Obama's plan is a step in the right direction. For-profit health care is a proven disaster and we are an example of that. For those of you who don't get it, do some research. We can no longer pay for the uninsured through skyrocketing premiums. All the successful health programs in the world are government run (Taiwan for example; only 9% of their budget goes to healthcare and everyone is well-covered). We spend something like 19%! It has to stop. Rather than oppose the change, lets look for ways to make it work. btw...not all "uninsured" are illegal aliens, many are simply poor and can pay for coverage. The GOP wants poor people to have all those kids, yet slam social programs that support them. You can't have it both ways. How stupid do you have to be to not see that connection?

    March 19, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Annie, Atlanta

    Anyone else find the comedic value in a bunch of Republicans who have health care trying to take away from those of us who don't, or is it just me?
    -------------------------------------------------
    No Annie iit's not just you. But I'll venture to say that those with children with disabilities, or pre-existing conditions are not finding this attempt on the part of the Rethugs at all funny. My own son is currently covered under my insurance, he too would be SOOL if these domestic terrorists get their way in the courts.

    March 19, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. KaraOK

    President Food Stamp is going down. :)

    March 19, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. hate and lies from the right

    What in gods name is so bad about all americans having healthcare? Canadians seem to do just fine by theirs, even though the right says otherwise.

    March 19, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Canuck

    One word you never hear in the US health care debate – compassion. Most civilized countries realise that if everyone puts some money into the public purse it can be used to pay for the minority who get a serious illness (it could be you, right?) so that they do not become bankrupt because they got sick. All you hear down there is 'why should I pay for someone elses health care? Americans are nauseatingly selfish.

    March 19, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    The CBO says Obama Care will cost twice as much as estimated by Obama. Anyone want to take dibs on that? Try 2 to 3 times as much. Our former esteemed President, Lyndon Johnson, who rammed thru Medicare said it would only cost 9 Billion. So after 16 Trillion dollars later..... If you believe Obama I have some Prime Waterfront Property in South Florida I want to sell you. Cheap.

    March 19, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Thomas Rice

    That law will screw me,,, I have a pretty good life right now, pay out of pocket for medications etc,, live comfortable, but not getting rich,, if I have to buy health insurance it will automaticly add &800+ to my monthly bills,,, that is money I can use to eat, pay for fuel, buy stuff for the farm, etc,, but if the law goes through I have to buy health insurance because I certainly dont qualify for any sort of assistance since you basicly have to be flat broke and not own a junker car or anything, So tell me how is the healthcare law right?? over reaching federal government, I dont care who gets in as long as it is someone who is going to REPEAL THAT DAMN OBAMACARE

    March 19, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Good job RNC , now most Americans knows that Obama care came from Romney care
    Attack your own guy ideas

    March 19, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Lainie11

    The slime coming out of Obama's mouth like everything else he touts, will only put him deeper in his grave. Obamacare is poison to any American. The death panel is there on page 12. We (humans) are called "units", not persons. Besides there are student loans in the bill, housing taxes, and God know what else. The 2000 plus document that Fancy Pelosi pushed saying, "Pass it and read it later" is the epitome of government control. I highly doubt that Americans will permit this sitting Communist president to have another 4 years to do more damage. If it happens that he gets reelected, America as we know it will disappear, and our children and grandchildren will be the biggest losers.

    March 19, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. king

    What is the repubs alternative to Obama care, don't tell me unleashing the so called fee market insurance companies to rape the American people, just like what the free market oil companies are currently doing to us will solve anything. Why is that every industrialized insured countries, who regulate insurance for their companies are paying half the amount we are paying for premiums. We cannot have these greedy insurance companies, taking us back to the days before Obama care. We cannot allow the repubs to allow big companies to suck our country dry, then bring their proceed to other countries, when they can't get anymore blood from our veins.

    March 19, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If we had affordable health care, we would not have to pay for uninsured republicans who show up at emergency rooms.

    March 19, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Publius Novus

    No Anni in ATL, you got it backwards. As Mitt Romney explained in July 2009, the individual mandate is a tax penalty designed to keep people who don't provide for their own healthcare from freeloading on the rest of us.

    March 19, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Jess C

    Canuck, you are absolutely right. @Thomas Rice: The law will "screw you"? We need a single-payer system, so the reform needs to be changed to move away from a "for-profit" model that is currently very broken. You say you pay "out of pocket" now? Ever consider what that would cost you should you break a leg for instance, or get a chronic illness? Think you are immune; don't fool yourself. A stay in a hospital is upwards of $40,000 per day or more. There's a much better way and other countries are doing it just fine and have healthier people for it (Sweden, for example). Our premiums have gone up for the past 5 or more years; that's due to in large part to the uninsured getting services because they can't be turned down.

    March 19, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    My premiums were increasing over 40% a year, and suddenly that stopped. I wish the right wingnuts would just get over their losing the civil war, and work to make America better.

    March 19, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. george of the jungle

    gee we don't want the government forcing people to buy stuff. Only if you are a woman and take contraceptives then you even have to tell your employer why you use them. Then they mandate you get an ultra sound before you can have an abortion. The repos find no problem with the latter. Isn't it the same a mandate is a mandate. I am so glad we have the affordable health care plan. I now can not be turned down for a preexisting condition. Repos are just stupid. Obama 2012

    March 19, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @Ray E. (Georgia): Quit retyping Fox soundbites!

    The CBO update does not provide new estimates of the entire cost of the Affordable Care Act. That’s because the new report looks at how much the government will spend on discrete elements of the new law, but not how much the government will save due to other parts of the law such as efforts to slow Medicare cost growth and reduce fraud.

    The last time the Congressional Budget Office looked at the whole law was when the House of Representatives tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And that report found that the Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit by over $100 billion in the next ten years and even more in the subsequent decade

    From Thomson Reuters Consulting: “Few employers seem willing to wash their hand of [offering health benefits…Of our clients, none of them have alluded to dropping coverage…We’re not seeing 30 percent. We’re not even seeing five percent. We have not heard that from one client.”

    March 19, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. maggie

    What I find positively fascinating is that the Republicans are arguing vehemently against Obamacare because they don't feel that the government has the right to mandate a health insurance requirement. Fair enough if that is how they feel ideologically. The fascinating part of this story is that while the party of small government vehemently opposes such a mandate, they have no problem using the same government power to mandate not just health insurance but a medical procedure itself - an invasive one at that - and one that a woman may not want or need, in order to exercise her legal right to choose. What a bunch of utter hypocrites.

    March 19, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. RealityBites

    Due to the cheesy backdoor process that was used to create Obamacare, the Supreme Court is now forced to determine its constitutionality during this election cycle.

    March 19, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. maggie

    Wire Palladin, you hit the nail on the head. You look at places like the deep south, places like Mississippi where welfare is so high because employment has historically also been high, a red state if you will. But God help you if you mess around with those welfare checks and medical benefits. These are people who don't have the sense to vote for their own interests.

    March 19, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. maggie

    @ hate and lies from the right, you are absolutely right. We have the most expensive health care in the world but all that money is not buying us the best.

    March 19, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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