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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Shunning Obamacare

Sheila Timmons reports at The Hill:
In a review of battleground races, The Hill found that out of 50 Democratic candidates with active campaign websites, only 11 mention the healthcare law by name, either as "ObamaCare," "Affordable Care Act," or "ACA." Fourteen more mention the law, but not its name, and half the candidates omit it entirely from their websites.
President Obama has trumpeted that more than 8 million people have enrolled in ACA-related plans. Meanwhile, congressional Democrats have been more cautious, focusing on jobs and the economy.
"On campaign websites, nobody has to say anything they don't want to say," said David Karol, associate professor of government at the University of Maryland. "What they have on their website shows what they think will be helpful to them — not what is important to them."
Republicans, on the other hand, clearly find talking about ObamaCare helpful, as 55 out of the 83 candidates in the same House contests mentioned the law by name on their websites.
The same trends were seen in an analysis of Senate candidates' websites. Of 37 Republican candidates with active websites, 27 mentioned ObamaCare by name. In the same races, 14 of 20 Democrats don't mention it at all, including Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Kay Hagan(N.C.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and John Walsh (Mont.) as well
Politico explains why the Democrats may have good reason for skittishness:
The Obamacare website may work for people buying insurance, but beneath the surface, HealthCare.gov is still missing massive, critical pieces — and the deadline for finishing them keeps slipping.

As a result, the system’s “back end” is a tangle of technical workarounds moving billions of taxpayer dollars and consumer-paid premiums between the government and insurers. The parts under construction are essential for key functions such as accurately paying insurers. The longer they lag, experts say, the likelier they’ll trigger accounting problems that could leave the public on the hook for higher premium subsidies or health care costs.
...

Without a fully built and operational system, federal officials can’t determine how many of the 8 million Obamacare sign-ups announced last week will have actually paid their premiums. They won’t even know how many enrollment attempts were never completed. That, in turn, could affect the amount of money the government spends on premium subsidies. And once the system finally does all come on-line, the data delays could force a sharp revision in that celebrated 8 million figure.