The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The Insiders: More Obamacare enrollees doesn’t mean more success for the Democrats

The problems with Obamacare have moved off the front page recently, which is exactly what the Democrats have wanted to happen. They want to celebrate the “victory” of Obamacare by championing the alleged 8 million sign-ups, answering few questions and moving on.

But the political infection that is Obamacare is thriving in the body politic.

A new Politico poll shows that 48 percent of Americans support a full repeal of the law, 35 percent want to at least modify the law – and only 16 percent think it should be left as it is.

I have always said that the Democrats would get the headline enrollment numbers they wanted. They have the IRS for enforcement, and people need to buy insurance anyway – especially when their plans are canceled thanks to Obamacare. But this doesn’t mean that Americans are happy about what they are being forced to buy. Byron York reminds us that “Democrats, in their euphoria over the ‘8 million’ sign-ups to Obamacare, made a mistake in concluding that signups equal approval.” Signing up for Obamacare is only the beginning of a host of problems that will end up costing the Democrats at the ballot box in November.

Americans will face three big problems with Obamacare in the months to come:

First, voters will find that their provider networks are severely restricted. They won’t be able to keep their doctors, because Obamacare limits choices. Second, voters will find that the convenient provider facilities they want to visit for their health care may also be outside their network. They may not be able to visit the hospital down the street or the one they have used all their lives because again, Obamacare forces limits to be placed on what facilities you can use. And third, voters will find that their premiums are higher, and in many cases, that their deductibles are much higher than they were before Obamacare.

In other words, Americans are paying more and getting less under Obamacare. This is classic Democratic governance. Part of the reason that Democrats can’t govern effectively is because they over-promise and under-deliver.

Anyway, as we get closer to the midterm elections, the problems with the law are only going to get worse, for the reasons I have listed above. More Obamacare enrollees doesn’t mean more success for Democrats; it means the opposite because there will be more dissatisfied voters.  Democrats will try to tell voters to move on, but Republicans need to continue talking about the disaster that is Obamacare and about what they would do differently. Obamacare is still what will anchor the GOP case in the fall.

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