Good morning folks,
It’s coming. The murmurs that “ObamaCare is working” among the liberal media elites is starting to permeate through newsrooms and seep into the consciousness of beat reporters desperate for a new storyline about a law that’s been unpopular since the day that President Obama began his push for it in 2009.
In fact, as the WAPO’s Aaron Blake reports, “A new high of 55 percent disapproves of the law in a Pew Research Center/USA Today poll. And the Kaiser Family Foundation’s tracking poll, a Post-ABC poll and a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last week all found little lasting changes from earlier this year — when the law was at the heart of its implementation struggles.”
Let’s put aside the continued unpopularity of ObamaCare (we know Mary Landrieu would like to). As Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said last week,“Democrats have sustained their tactic of telling everyone the health care law is working, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Perhaps if they say it enough, their reasoning goes, it will become true. Well, Obama can have his own opinions and he can even assert falsehoods as truth, but he can’t conjure fact.” McCarthy is right. The left – from President Obama to the interns at Think Progress – are trying to conflate enrollment numbers with success, conveniently forgetting that Americans are forced to sign up for the law under threat of penalty (which also remains extremely unpopular). In other words, pointing to enrollment numbers as a sign of success is as absurd as touting the lines at the DMV as a sign of motorist joy.
In a must read piece, Jay Cost completely debunks five of the exaggerations and inaccuracies that Democrats are touting as success:
- Premiums are NOT down: They’re using fuzzy math. The truth is that studies from many have shown that rates have gone up since 2013, substantially in some cases. Why? Cost explains, “Obamacare basically outlawed insurance underwriting, so rates must go up as healthy people pay the price for the sick. Insurers, moreover, have also increased deductibles and co-pays and narrowed doctor networks and drug formularies.”
- ObamaCare signups DID NOT meet expectations: “CBO downgraded its forecast earlier this year from 7 million to 6 million, and this month declined to update it even after the ‘surge’ of last-minute enrollees began. The reason: The prediction is an annual average. By this metric, Obamacare will struggle to hit 6 million, with enrollment so weak in the first quarter.”
- Insurance Companies: As Cost explains, “Studies from many outlets have shown that rates have gone up since 2013, substantially for many people. This is no mystery. Obamacare basically outlawed insurance underwriting, so rates must go up as healthy people pay the price for the sick. Insurers, moreover, have also increased deductibles and co-pays and narrowed doctor networks and drug formularies. ..Insurers on the exchanges are enjoying private profits and socialized losses. Who wouldn’t be happy? What will really matter is how insurers feel in 2017, when reinsurance and risk corridors expire and the exchanges must stand on their own.”
- ObamaCare IS NOT working as planned: Dozens of key provision have been unilaterally suspended or delayed by the Obama Administration for the very fact that they ARE NOT working. As Cost explains, “The suspended or postponed provisions include the mandate that businesses cover full-time employees, the cancellation of noncompliant plans, and cuts to Medicare Advantage. In fact, what is working is a very narrow segment of the law, the most politically salable part: the distribution of tax credits so people with low incomes can buy heavily subsidized insurance coverage. To say the law is working is like saying you “ate your dinner” when you gulped down your dessert and skipped the veggies. Just as your mother said you could not have one without the other, so the popular provisions of Obamacare are linked to the unpopular ones.”
- ObamaCare IS NOT here to stay: The left mocks anyone who talks about repealing or breaking away parts the law, which is particularly hilarious in light of the parts of the law that President Obama himself has effectively repealed for political convenience. As Cost explains, “Obamacare’s future is still very much in doubt. Whereas Medicare and Social Security were designed to benefit everybody sooner or later, Obamacare creates vast classes of winners and losers. It is to the losers that many of the suspensions are directed. But the losers will eventually have to suffer the harm that Obamacare is set to deliver. And that creates the political space for repeal.”
In the weeks ahead, get ready for the media elites to wage an, “ObamaCare is a success” narrative. That idea blatantly false at worse, entirely misleading at best. The law remains as unpopular (if not more so) today than it was in 2010, and vulnerable Democrats can clearly see the same polls that we do. Not a single one of them is running ads touting ObamaCare as an major achievement or is touting their work with President Obama on the Affordable Care Act as a proud accomplishment. If ObamaCare was popular or working, Democrats on the ballot would be tripping over themselves to campaign with the President. They’re not.
Seize the day – enjoy the weekend,
2014 BATTLEGROUND SONAR
(MISSISSIPPI) Stark Contrast on Disaster Relief: Is Voting for Tornado Recovery Funds a Difficult Vote to Cast for Chris McDaniel?
Thad Cochran wrote the bill that was essential to Mississippi recovering from Hurricane Katrina. As one Gulf Coast resident said: “When Katrina blew through and ripped apart the Coast it was Thad’s leadership that helped reweave the fabric of our community together.” Chris McDaniel said if he had been in the U.S. Senate, voting for Katrina relief would have been, “not an easy vote to cast.” Amazingly, to this day he will not say if he would have voted for Senator Cochran’s bill.
(COLORADO) Rubio Records Spanish Ad for Cory Gardner
Sen.Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is featured in a new Spanish ad Wednesday for Colorado Senate GOP candidate hopeful Rep. Cory Gardner funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Cory will fight for Colorado, and run away debt, take on reckless spending and challenge leaders in both parties to create new jobs,” Rubio says in the English version of the ad. “America needs principled leaders like Cory Gardner in the Senate. That’s how we’ll end gridlock.” Gardner is essentially tied in the polls with challenger freshman Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
(ARKANSAS) Pryor Has Prior Opinions On Social Security
In one of Sen. Mark Pryor’s latest campaign ads, a Little Rock woman named Linda looks into the camera from her kitchen table and calls his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, “a real threat to your retirement” because he has voted to turn Medicare into a voucher system and has voted to raise the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare to 70. She’s right about at least the voucher part. Forcing seniors to buy private insurance with help from a government check is a bad idea.
(MICHIGAN) Steyer’s War on Carbon: Buying a Detroit Senate candidate.
Peters is a Democratic congressman who is something of a political chameleon. …In February, aspiring-senator Peters accompanied Al Gore, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, and six other Democratic senators to Steyer’s palatial residence overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The senators had all opposed Keystone despite its broad bipartisan support among their colleagues; Peters had opposed similar legislation passed by the House but blocked by Reid in the Senate. The quid pro quo for Steyer’s money? “If we’re collectively going to put $100 million into this cycle, how much will go into key races depends on Keystone,” said top Steyer political hand Chris Lehane later. As an appetizer, Peters and the Steyer Seven were rewarded with a $400,000 contribution to the Senate Majority PAC. Since then, Senate Majority has spent nearly $1 million in Michigan attacking Peters’s Senate opponent, Republican Terri Lynn Land. Another Steyer-funded group, American Sustainable Business Council, has begun running pro-Peters ads in western Michigan.
(NORTH CAROLINA) Must Watch Thom Tillis Video: All Roads Lead to North Carolina
(LOUISIANA) Sen. Landrieu approval ratings lowest of her career
Senator Mary Landrieu’s approval ratings have hit an all time low, according to a new Southern Media and Opinion Research poll released today. More than 58 percent of 600 likely voters polled last month rated the Democrat’s job performance as either “not so good” or “poor.” Her positive approval rating was 39 percent. In about a year-and-a-half, Southern Media and Opinion Research pollster Bernie Pinsonat says Landrieu has tripled her “poor” performance rating, from 13 percent in September 2012 to 39 percent in this poll.
(ALASKA) ICYMI Kelly File: Cotton And Sullivan Respond To Attacks On Military Service
(GEORGIA) Poll: Jack Kingston, Karen Handel fighting for 2nd in Ga. Senate race
David Perdue has gained some support, allowing him to pull further away from his rivals in the Republican Senate primary, according to a survey released Thursday. Karen Handel and Jack Kingston are effectively tied for second, and Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey remain back in the pack in the InsiderAdvantage survey conducted by automatic phone callers to 531 likely primary voters Wednesday evening for Morris News and Fox5 of Atlanta. Perdue has held onto first place in every independent poll made public this year. His 26 percent in the new results is an improvement of 4 points since InsiderAdvantage’s last survey on May 1. Handel’s 18 and Kingston’s 17 fall within the 4.2 percent margin of error and represents a 3-point retreat for Handel.
(IOWA) Braley to be absent from health care debate
Five Republican candidates for U.S. Senate plan to debate about the Affordable Care Act later this month, but the Democratic candidate won’t join them. The May 22 debate is being organized by the Iowa Association of Health Underwriters, which represents insurance agents and brokers. The group said Thursday that Republican candidates Sam Clovis, Joni Ernst, Mark Jacobs, Scott Schaben and Matt Whitaker had all committed to participating. U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who is the Democratic candidate in the race, does not plan to participate. A spokesman said Thursday that Congress will be in session that day, so Braley would not be able to attend the Des Moines event.
(NEW HAMPSHIRE) Shaheen’s ObamaCare Conundrum
In light of the struggles facing New Hampshire residents, one might think Democrat Jeanne Shaheen would be less likely to boast about the law considering its unpopularity. Instead, Shaheen claims to be “absolutely” proud of her vote, even though her constituents have NEVER agreed with it. In fact, when confronted by a constituent with their serious concerns with ObamaCare, Jeanne Shaheen stubbornly dismissed the claims as “misinformation.” According to the Boston Globe: “Shaheen said she is ‘absolutely’ proud of her vote in favor of the bill and said residents frequently tell her how much the law has already helped them.”
(VIRGINIA) Sen. Warner’s ObamaCare Conundrum
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner did not mask his support for the Affordable Care Act during Loudoun Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on May 4, but the popular former governor admitted there’s “some bad” in the act commonly referred to as Obamacare. “There’s some good and there’s some bad, but one of the things that’s pretty remarkable, with all its challenges, right now there are 8 million more Americans who have health care who didn’t have it,” Warner, a Democrat, told a crowd of roughly 100 Democrats at the National Conference Center just east of Leesburg.
(OREGON) Wehby hits Merkley in new ad
Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby is looking towards the general election in her newest ad, in which she appears in scrubs in an operating room and declares that “career politicians like Jeff Merkley created a $17 billion deficit, and they still refuse to admit Obamacare is a disaster.” Wehby is favored to nab the GOP nomination against state Rep. Jason Conger in the primary this month.
- Oregonian: Republican Monica Wehby sets sights on Jeff Merkley in TV ad — The Merkley campaign declined to comment. Merkley has been in office since 2009, when the federal deficit stood at $10.6 trillion and the economy was rapidly shedding jobs. The deficit has now risen to $17.5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury.
(SOUTH DAKOTA) Mike Rounds Memo: The Difference is Clear
The primary election is only a few weeks away. It’s been a long, rewarding journey – but the truth is – once you cast your vote on June 3rd that’s just the beginning. Since the start of this campaign it’s always been about winning in November. This is more than a competition – the future of our country is what’s truly at stake. We need serious, proven leaders to help set a new course. We need a candidate who can win in November.
(MONTANA) Daines ad hits both Democrat opponents
If you wonder why I keep posting so many Daines ads, it’s because he keeps posting them. He apparently has the resources to keep making the ads — even this early in the election season. Right now, he’s defining his opponents early, before they’ve even had their primary. Most of Daines’ spots have been positive, but this one gently slams both of his potential Dem opponents. Appointed Sen. John Walsh, D, is the favorite to win the Democratic primary, and Daines is favored in the general election.
(WEST VIRGINIA) 5 Things Natalie Tennant Doesn’t Want You To Know
West Virginia Democrat Senate candidate Natalie Tennant is touting “Five Things You Didn’t Know About Natalie Tennant” on her Facebook page. Problem is, she’s leaving out a few critical details the voters of West Virginia deserve to know. Here are five things Natalie Tenant doesn’t want you to know.
(MINNESOTA) Al Franken Is Super Serious
There’s a refrain familiar to any regular Capitol Hill reporter trying to ask a question of Senator Al Franken, Democrat from Minnesota and Saturday Night Live alum: “I don’t talk to national press. You’ll have to speak to my staff. I only talk to Minnesota press.” Those lines are nearly always followed up by an agile staff member appearing out of nowhere to block Franken from the unfortunately deemed “national” reporter, ready with a business card and an explanation that the senator is very busy and is only giving interviews to local press and won’t you just shoot me an email with your question, please? Thanks!
- New Mike McFadden Ad: Stitches
(KENTUCKY) Alison Grimes drawn into Kentucky cockfighting debate
U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has been drawn into the debate over cockfighting in Kentucky after her name appeared in a federal affidavit related to the arrests of three people involved in a cockfighting operation in Floyd County. While no one is claiming that Grimes attended a cockfighting event — or, like Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin, attended a pro-cockfighting rally — the affidavit alleges that the operator of the Big Blue Sportsman’s Club said before a fight April 4 that Grimes secretly favors legalizing it.
As if things didn’t seem bad enough for Mary Landrieu, today a new poll was released by SMOR showing her Fav/Unfav at a brutal 39/58%.
- Only 31% of the voters responded they were “for” the Affordable Care Act which is also referred to as Obamacare while 63% responded they were “against” it. …Among voters who responded they were undecided in the U.S. Senate race, 79% said they were against the Affordable Care Act; 11% said they were for it.”
- “After being informed that Landrieu had been a U. S. Senator since 1996 and was recently appointed to Chair the U.S. Senate Energy Committee, 59% of the voters thought electing someone new was more important than keeping her in office. Landrieu’s seniority does little to sway voter choice for the U.S. Senate. Of the voters who responded they were undecided in the U.S. Senate trial heat question, 72% were of the opinion that electing someone new was more important than keeping her in office.”
- “In a September 2012 poll, there was a 24 percent point gap between Landrieu’s negative ratings and those for the President. At present, Senator Landrieu’s negative ratings (58%) are only 6 points behind those of President Obama (64%). Her negative ratings have increased by 30 percentage points in a little over a year and a half (from 28% in September 2012 to 58% in this current poll).”
NOTE: Consider that this disastrous poll comes after Landrieu has spent more than $2.5 million on positive ads that began a month ago. Also consider that in 2008 – a Democratic wave year – Mary Landrieu defeated John Kennedy by a ho-hum 52-46% margin. In April, 2008, an SMOR poll showed Landrieu at a 70/25 Favorable Unfavorable. In June, 2008, SMOR still had Landrieu at 61/34. In other words, her numbers have changed by a net-46 points since she was last on a ballot.
ON THE TWITTERS
@ByronYork – New Louisiana Senate poll from SMOR: Mary Landrieu 36% (down from 41% last fall); Bill Cassidy 35%; other GOPers 11%. Undecided 18%.
@elliosch – Steyer’s War on Carbon: Buying a Detroit Senate candidate. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/steyer-s-war-carbon_791184.html #misen
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