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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I see Mittens has a plan to get the gov't. to reduce the cost of gasoline. It appears he is a closet socialist after all.

    March 19, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. bc runner

    Dear Thomas rrice: I have a question for you. If and when you get sick and end up in the hospital, why do you expect me to pay for you?

    March 19, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Brilliant idea, Republicans. Put out ads that tell The People how much you want insurance companies to have free hand to mistreat and abuse their own paying customers.

    The conservative idea to allow you to cross state borders to buy cheaper insurance is an incredible misrepresentation of reality. Consider this for when you buy auto insurance. Do they charge you for insurance based upon where you buy the insurance, or do they charge you for where you live? If I live in NYC, I will be charged a similar rate, whether I buy it in NYC, LA, or in Kansas somewhere.

    March 19, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. yuri

    The repugs. are desparately dodging their own failures in protecting and providing decent health insurance to the destitutes. By their own arguements, if the market forces are allowed to (man)handle the health insurance, more will become un-or under-insured and the premiums will skyrocket even more. Under their plan in previous years, the infant and maternal mortality rates had surged and became disgracefully higher than the rich countries w/ better health care.

    We are not advocating socialized medicine, but criticsizing Obamacare as a job destroyer is a flatout fib. A proper blend of different good ideas can be considered, but the current castigation seems quite ham handed by the GOP, when they impulsively criticize anything the dems do. Dems have floundered as well, but a compromise alone can achieve a lot, and not this deadly demagoging.

    March 19, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Russ in Md

    Being retired military I am looking at my health care getting ready to tripple in cost because of Obamacare and defence spending cuts. How fare is that to those of us who have sacrificed a big part of our lives for our country.

    March 19, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Doreen Johnson

    No, can't have healthcare in the US. American exceptionalism? A joke.

    March 19, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. rob

    Why is it that the media never calls Obamacare controversial? It was passed with almost no support from the opposition party in Govt and its never had support in the polls...about 55/45 against. It was passed with backroom sweetheart deals to BUY votes and we were told they "need to pass the bill so we can see whats in it" by Nancy Pelosi. All the while it doesn't even begin to adress Medicade, Medicare and SS which alone will bankrupt the country. This is the very deffinition of controversial, not to mention arrogant.

    March 19, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Sniffit

    That's right CNN. Avoid that New England Journal of Medicine study like the pague. Wouldn't want reporting about credible experts in the field saying positive things about the ACA to ruin all the juicy ad-revenue-generating controversy now, would we?

    "The CBO says Obama Care will cost twice as much as estimated by Obama."

    No, it really doesn't. The number reported by CBO this time cannot be compared to the unmber reported by CBO initially for several reasons, not least of which is that they cover different time periods and are therefore apples versus oranges.

    First, most of the ACA's provisions take effect in 2014. The initial report covered a decade from 2010 to 2019, while the new one covers the decade from 2012-2021. Therefore, the new report contains 2 more years of post-2014 spending than the other report, so it skews heavily and cannot be compared to the original.

    Second, the new report only addressed costs and did not factor in cost savings and cuts that are part of the ACA. It was essentially just reporting a GROSS figure, not a NET figure. Experts in the field have already published stufy findings int he New England Journal of Medicine that show the ACA is having a positive effect on costs and they opined it willcontinue to do so, which is why CNN is avoiding reporting about that article like it's the plague. It hampers their ability to play he-said-she-said with the politician-monkeys' words.

    March 19, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "No, can't have healthcare in the US. American exceptionalism?"

    Let's be realistic. When the GOP/Teatrolls talk about "Amurikan exceptionalizms" with respect to rights or opportunity or wealthy, etc., what they really mean is the following:

    "...everyone except you and you and you and you and except you and you and you...."

    March 19, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Let's make it simple. Take away all insurance for anyone in the GOP. Don't let them be covered. Then let them have to go to the hospital.

    Obamacare is the best thing to have happen for people who need insurance and can't get it. It tosses out that ridiculous pre-existing condition nonsense that should never have existed in the first place. Since the GOP don't want anyone to have insurance of any kind, let's take away theirs while the rest of us are covered. That should teach them a lesson in what being "a representative for the people" actually means.

    March 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. The REAL TRUTH...

    The REAL TRUTH about the Healthcare plan (Obamacare) is that it will dig into the HUGE, OBSCENE PROFITs the health markets make. Insurance companies, labs, hospitals are all EXPANDING – on your dime! AFFORDABLE healthcare is the objective of the law, and those who stand to lose the most (the above listed industries) are LOBBYING the GOP big time. That transalates to the usual right-wing fear-mongering over loss of freedom (what about Bush's Patriot Act?), govt. mandated rules, socialsm (OMG folks.. we've been a socialst country for over 70 yrs – SS, medicare, medicaid, etc.) and so on from the GOP.
    Is the current law perfect? No ! But it's a step, and to hear Mittens and co. talk about how they plan to repeal THEIR OWN PLAN is ludicrous. I'd like to hear how these candidates plan to repeal Obamacare without a GOP majority in Congress. Without that, its jsut HOT AIR, that the "faithful" are lapping up. Get a life people, and do a little research on your own and stop having people tell you how to live your life. Yet, these "faithful" are the same folks who swear by Less Govt, Less Taxes and the GOP Mantra! Really?? Where's the Beef ?/

    Abnd where did you come up with $800 a month THOMAS RICE ??

    March 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. Taran

    @Russ, yep, Obamacare is not supposed to cause any other medical insurance increases, another lie about obamacare to go along with the lie of its cost.

    March 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. Dr Knowitall

    We are almost at a point where every American will be at risk of being put in jail for violating some obscure law that sits in a book somewhere. There is no way that everyone can possibly know and comply with all the laws that exist. I am sure that there are even laws don not comply to other existing laws. The Federal government has overstepped its bounds, Its time to start giving freedom and the country back to the people.

    March 19, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. Four and The Door

    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.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    And expect the increased costs with ObamaCare to be even less efficient. It does nothing to improve quality. So apparently the decision in those back rooms with locked doors when Democrats were formulating Obamacare was access at the compromise of cost and quality. Apparently they thought good enough was good enough and eventually we could just raise taxes. It was a focus on the politics, not the economics or the quality of health care.

    March 19, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Joi Gibson

    Urghhhh – these people make me ill. What do they propose as an alternative – that folks continue to use emergency rooms as their primary care-insurance companies raising premiums exorbitantly every year because of the uninsured-dropping people when they get sick even though they pay their premiums, thereby forcing them into bankruptcy-and then guess who foots the bill anyway-giving their executives exorbitant bonuses. These folks care nothing about you, they only want to get in the White House so they can continue screwing the American public.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!

    March 19, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. John

    I just understand the philosophy of Republican Party. First it was jobs, and that turn around. Then it was foreign affairs that the President didn’t have. That turns out to false, Now it the National debit and that was caused by the pervious administration. Then it was the bail out to Wall Street and Auto industry, that is turning to be the right move, now its gas. What next he care to much for the people? If people on this board truly believed that putting Mitt Romney or Rick Santorn in the White will help the country you are very mistaken if anything it divide our country. Mark these words and this year. If the President Obama is not reelected, you think country is divided now Its going to be worse. It’s going to look and feel like the sixty all over

    March 19, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. The REAL TRUTH...

    @rob – All the while it doesn't even begin to adress Medicade, Medicare and SS which alone will bankrupt the country. This is the very deffinition of controversial, not to mention arrogant.
    ------------------------------------
    SS is not, and will not be bankrupt IF the US govt. puts the $4.3 TRILLION in Treasury IOU's BACK INTO the system that they RAIDED from it over the years to balance the Federal budget with "creative accounting". That's an indesputable FACT that has nothing to do with the Obama (or Bush) administrations. Obamacare was never intended to fix "all ill's", but it sure is hlarious to watch the GOP strut arround complaining about their OWN PLAN !!

    March 19, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Russ – Stop watching Fox foreign owned media. The gloom and doom is not true. While every Veteran's social club in Florida is tuned into Fox, they are not truthful and are lying. It is President Obama who has veterans' backs, not the chickenhawks who are the party of war.

    March 19, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Mom to 3

    People forget that right before the economic crash in 2008, healthcare was one of the biggest topics out there. People were upset that premiums had doubled over the years and more and more people were losing access to healthcare. People should also know that the current Affordable Care Act (a/k/a "Obamacare") is almost identical to plans put forth by the Republicans in the past - before they decided that they would say "NO" to everything and anything President Obama proposed (even things they had supported in the past) in order to try and make his Presidency a failure and get themselves back into power again. Look it up - the GOP had proposed the same exact type of healthcare reforms. Also look up what is IN the Affordable Care Act - things to help everyday Americans. And the insurance mandate that the GOP is frothing at the mouth about (but they used to support) - why would you NOT want health insurance? Under the Affordable Care Act there will be susidies available to help those who cannot afford to buy insurance so they can comply with the law. It will help approximately 30 million uninsured people. And the GOP is against this?

    March 19, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Pat

    @Yuri...I wish that argument made any sense. Car insurance prices differ from state to state and city to city because driving in downtown New York is more dangerous than rural Wyoming. I dont think people in Wisconsin get more sick than people in Indiana

    March 19, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Four and The Door

    Joi Gibson
    Urghhhh – these people make me ill. What do they propose as an alternative...
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Joi, your question is right on target. The Republicans will replace ObamaCare with a bill that provides the same access to coverage but one that lowers costs and improves quality at the same time. It absolutely can be done. The problem with the current bill is the way it was forced through on Obama's political schedule. It was forced through quickly because unemployment was going through the roof and he needed what he thought was a political win. It was not ready for prime time but he did not care. He had the votes. Barely.

    March 19, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Russ in Md wrote:

    Being retired military I am looking at my health care getting ready to tripple in cost because of Obamacare and defence spending cuts.
    --------
    Would you mind explaining why your health care will triple because of the Affordable Care Act? As far as defense spending cuts for health care, it was Republicans starting wars and shutting down VA hospitals. Democrats have halted and reversed the scheduled and planned cuts to veteran health care as much as they could. Republicans want more ships and plans, while Democrats have wanted more and expanded care facilities for the increased numbers of injured veterans returning from wars.

    March 19, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What I haven't heard is what the GOP would have done differently. I like the idea that people can keep their kids under their plan longer since it is taking them longer to get to a job that covers them. The idea of exchanges also is good, but should be accepted by the states to cover more; try to get all the states to agree on the same minimum standards. That is the problem with trying to buy insurance across state lines; varing minimums. I don't say that there should be something imposed though.

    March 19, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. dreamer96

    Most civilized nations already have universal health care, many pay for it with a value added tax...Just think what it would mean for our businesses, not to have to pay the workers health care, and for workers not to lose health care if you lose your job, or your company goes bankrupt..I think it is strange we spend the most of any country and have 50 million without any coverage at all..1 in 6 of Americans have no coverage..The people against the new bill I don't think even understand what the new bill will do...and if anything should be changed about the bill...we should change it to a single payer system..and get the for-profit corporations out of our Health Insurance Policies..

    March 19, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Ray E. (Georgia)

    THINK AGAIN,
    You had better Think Again, and again, and again, and again, and... It doesn't matter where the CBO Report was Posted but I believe it was right here on CNN. And it isn't just Healthcare, it is rising Gas Prices, Rising Food Prices, Red Ink in most States and Municipalities. and on and on and on. The Liberal Pundits sold you a Pig in a Poke and you are buying it. In the 1800's it was Snake Oil, Today, it is...Snake oil. How much did you pay for gas the last time you filled up. Or do you take the Bus???

    March 19, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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