Are Democrats Jumping Ship on Obamacare?


WASHINGTON - The Affordable Care Act law may be known as Obamacare but for Democrats seeking re-election it's becoming more like "Obamascare."

Case in point: Democrat Alex Sink got sunk by Republican challenger David Jolly during a special election in Florida last week.

Jolly campaigned on repealing Obamacare and won. Sink embraced Obamacare and lost.

Are Republicans doing enough to capitalize on Obamacare? Phil Kerpen from American Commitment, answers this and more, on CBN Newswatch, Feb. 20.

This is the big challenge for Democrats running for re-election on Capitol Hill. They all voted for Obamacare but now are trying to figure out ways to distance themselves from it. Otherwise they may not be back after the midterms.

Democrats currently control the Senate but Republicans could take over by picking up six seats. 

Their strategy: focus on Democrat Senators from conservative states who voted for Obamacare.

The list includes Sen. Mark Begich, D-Ala., Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and the vulnerable Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

"I know we have a ton of outside money that is coming in against me right now. They're going to say all kinds of things trying to convince people that I'm really not the kind of senator that they wanted over the last 12 years, but the truth is I have a great relationship with the state, there's a trust relationship there," Pryor said.

Conservative groups are questioning that trust with ads reminding voters that Pryor backed Obamacare and that it's hurting folks in Arkansas.

One of the ad campaigns featured a woman whose insurance was canceled.

"We received a letter from our insurance company as of December of 2014 that we would no longer be covered by Blue Cross, Blue Shield," the woman in the ad stated.

Pryor says he understands the frustration.

"I've been frustrated with the rollout. There's no question about that. I know people in Arkansas are frustrated with it. That was a hard, hard piece of legislation to pass," he said.

Pryor agreed changes need to be made but he's sticking by the controversial law.

"If you get 80 percent of it right, you've really done something. And I think we did get a lot right. I don't know if it's 80 percent, 90 percent, 70 percent - I don't know but we got a lot of it right. But it's still far from perfect," Pryor said.

From the beginning, Obamacare has been under a dark cloud.

First the website crashed, then came the policy cancellations that refuted President Obama's promise that Americans could keep their healthcare insurance. And the list goes on. 

One top House Democrat doesn't believe Obamacare will become the party's death knell.

How do Democrats take back control of the House and can it be doable in this climate of everybody trying to bash Obamacare?

"Well, I do think that the Democrats will pick up additional seats in the House. The question of course is whether you can get to the magic number of 17, which is what Democrats need to get the majority in the house. Look, there's a lot of time between now and November politically speaking. A lot can change," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said.

Will these Democrats turn to the president for help during their campaigns? His popularity is sinking fast.

"Whether the president campaigns in person in every district of the country is something both the president will decide if he has time to do it and whether or not members make that request," Van Hollen said.

Right now, the request from vulnerable Democrats is to figure out how not to get sunk by Obamacare.

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