Republicans ramp up efforts to slam Obama health law
March 19th, 2012
10:24 AM ET
11 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. Name

    My premiums have doubled twice as a result of Obamacare. Nuff said.

    March 19, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    One of the best strengths of the Affordable Care Act [and why health insurers are so opposed to it] is that it shifts the burden of health care for seniors from Medicare to private insurers, which is where it belongs. Insurers want to continue to be able to drop people, which the ACA puts an end to.

    March 19, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. demwit

    What does "mandate" mean??

    March 19, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. demwit

    Mandate – a night out on the town with Obama

    Now who would vote against that??

    March 19, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. krazy1185

    ok im going to need people to stop saying give the country back to the people we never lost the country in the first place. The tea party rant andd rave as if the current adminstration is england back before the revoutionary war and the gop left overs are crying because they failed and keeping america on top. so they cry and whine and whine somemore ive always had money ive always had insurance and i am more than happy to help others out weather i think they deserve it or not ive seen to many credit reports from well deserving people in need of something being denied becuase they have thousands of dollars impacting the credit that could of been advoided if the had insurance to began with. Im looking forward to an majority of democrats in the house and senate so obama can do whats needed to be done without the party if lies and no getting in the way of common sense policy.

    March 19, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. vatoloke

    All you hear from the Clown Brigade is "I will repeal this on my first day in office and I will repeal that on my 2nd day in office and I will repeal that other thing on my 3rd day in office..." but never "I will replace it with something better." In other words, they will take the country back 50 years, at least.

    March 19, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "It does nothing to improve quality"

    Actually it very much incentivizes quality. Mroeover, the IPAB created by the ACA is the lynch pin for both decreasing costs and improving quality and decision making, which is why the GOP is on the warpath to destroy it. It represents the biggest danger to their position that it will all fail and they are DESPERATE to make sure that it does in order to create their self-fulfilling prophecy, so they can turn around and pull yet another "see....we told you't can't do anything right and is broken...because we keep breaking it."

    March 19, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "My premiums have doubled twice as a result of Obamacare. Nuff said."

    Really? Nifty. How exactly did yuo draw that magical causal relationship between premiums that were rising exorbitanlty before the ACA, and which would have risen exorbitantly without the ACA anyway, and the ACA, a piece of legislation that has largely not even taken effect yet?

    March 19, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Wes Monroe

    My Premiums have gone up with Blue Cross Blue Shield 162% since Obamacare was made into law two years the 5 years prior they had only gone up by 30% total for the 5 years. The Blue Cross rep said I can blame Obamacare and I asked that she put that in writing but she declined. Obamacare will be Obama's downfall come November..............adding higher gas prices is just icing on the cake.

    March 19, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. Christy P in Santa Cruz

    Make all Healthcare Not-For-Profit. Solve everything.

    March 19, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Christy P in Santa Cruz

    Get Clarence Thomas out of the mix. He's totally biased and should be recused.

    March 19, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Darrell


    My premiums have doubled twice as a result of Obamacare. Nuff said If this was 2014, I would believe you.

    Somehow you forget the full program goes into affect in 2014. So, If I was you, I would try to find better healthcare coverage, because your current coverage is taking you to cleaners...leaving you out to dry.

    March 19, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Canuck

    "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. "

    They had 8 years under the Bush administration – so, why didn't they do it??

    March 19, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. bc runner

    So, I want to know how mAny of you out there who are against the ACA have heard of insurance premiums rising by 20, 30 percent a year? And how many people do you hear complaining about gettint dropped because of pre-existing conditions? In California last year had to refund premiums because their profits exceeded 20 percent. I guess for some of you 20 percent profit is not enough and you want to give them the ability to drop us when they want and to gauge us as they please as well...

    March 19, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. cali girl

    same stuff different day

    March 19, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    "ObamaCare....bad" "RomneyCare (the basis for the ACA)........uhh uhh. Let's not talk about that. Obamacare bad!!!"

    March 19, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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