Conventional wisdom may hold that Democrats should run as far, and as fast, from President Barack Obama’s health care law as they can.
But don’t tell that to House Democratic leaders, who continue pushing the issue with Republicans.
In their latest salvo, House Democrats released a web video this weekend seizing on reports that the GOP’s latest vote to repeal Obamacare would end up helping lawmakers by returning them to their old benefits plan.
Taking a page from conservative activists, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee stationed a staffer outside the Republican National Committee’s offices on Capitol Hill.
As members streamed into the building, the staffer repeatedly asked “why are you voting to give yourself healthcare for life.”
that’s not, in fact, what lawmakers were voting on. The vote was to repeal the entirety of Obamacare – for the 33rd time, no less. But the vote would also have had the unintended consequence of returning to the old system of congressional healthcare, the focus of the ambush interviews.
While most Republicans studiously ignored the questioner, others like Rep. Duncan Hunter, engaged.
“We don’t have health care for life … I think you’re acting crazy. There is no vote like that,” the California Republican told her, while Rep. Judy Biggert opted for the classic hand-to-the-lens deflection.
Although many pollsters, pundits and politicians have insisted health care is a losing issue for Democrats – an argument bolstered by the brutal beating the party took in 2010 because of the law – Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel clearly believe they can cause the GOP pain over its repeated push to repeal the entire law rather than inform it.
Still, a senior House GOP leadership aide expressed no concern about the issue, saying bluntly that “nobody on their side is proud of that law.”
John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
Contact John Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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