In Defying the Odds, we discuss the health care issue in the 2016 campaign. the 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. As we explain, loss aversion made Obamacare a liability for Democrats at the time of its passage: voters worried about losing health benefits that they already had. But by 2018, the roles had reversed. Obamacare was now the status quo, and the GOP was threatening to take it away. The issue now strongly favors the Democrats.
Democrats on Saturday night launched their case against federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, saying support for her confirmation was equivalent to a vote to end the Affordable Care Act.
In a rush of statements following Barrett's Rose Garden introduction, top Democrats put the fate of the law -- and its popular protections for patients with pre-existing conditions -- front and center. They also made frequent reference to the coronavirus pandemic, and the chaos that could arise from stripping health insurance options from millions of Americans in its midst.
From the Democratic presidential ticket on down, criticism of Barrett repeatedly circled back to what has been a political winner for the party: health care -- and the backlash to Republican efforts to dismantle the ACA, former President Barack Obama's signature policy achievement.
And Trump walked right into it:
So did Senator Mike Lee:
Obamacare will be replaced with a MUCH better, and FAR cheaper, alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court. Would be a big WIN for the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2020
For all the talk of Dems needing to watch what they're saying, Mike Lee is likely to feature in a Dem campaign ad. https://t.co/jXXMZd1XrV— Drew Savicki (@SenhorRaposa) September 27, 2020