The Washington Post

Democrats up for reelection won't support Obamacare II

The political consequences will be severe for the Democrats if the Supreme Court kills the entire Obamacare law. The fallout will not just affect the president. There is no way Democrats in Congress, or anyone else on the ballot with the president in November, will want to commit to supporting Obamacare II. President Obama will have to have a collective “Medvedev moment” with his Democrat allies, assuring them that it will be after the election, not before, when he reveals what his real plans are for a renewed health-care law.

In 2010, the Democrats put their head on the hot stove and got severely burned. They won’t do it again this November. Of the 52 incumbent Democrats who lost their seats in Congress in 2010, 34 voted for Obamacare. And in October of 2010, 53 percent of Independents said they supported repeal of the bill if Republicans won back Congress in the mid-term election. 

Democrats on the 2012 ballot would run from a pledge to support Obamacare II like scalded dogs. 

If, and I think it’s a big if, the Supreme Court does declare the entire bill unconstitutional, Obama will have a very awkward period where he will have to say that he disagrees with the court and is committed to fixing the bill and passing it again. Yet he is not going to ask any Democrat running in 2012 to pledge to help him, and he won’t say what specific actions he will take to fix what the court said was broken. Obama and the Democrats will try to return to platitudes about health care where they can beat Republicans every time. Voters would spot this hypocrisy a mile away. The GOP message in the fall should be, to keep from being fooled again, vote against the Democrats. 

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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