Democrats in Danger Over Affordable Health Insurance Reform
The electorate is angry. A struggling economy has resulted in fear and a mentality of “kicking the bums out”. In November’s midterm elections, incumbents all over the country are in danger of losing their seats.
This is especially true for Democrats. They currently hold a majority in both chambers of Congress, but political experts predict that status is precarious. Not only is there the general trend of a president’s political party losing seats during midterms, but there is the controversial healthcare reform law.
Most members of the Democratic party supported President Barack Obama’s health care bill in March. Some were more skeptical than others, but the vast majority ended up voting in favor of the legislation.
As expected, political opponents are attacking that support. In addition to Republican rivals for their House of Representatives or Senate seats, outside advocacy groups are buying costly TV ad time to oppose them. Many, but not all, of these organizations are associated with the Tea Party movement.
Revere America is just one of these conservative groups. Instead of expanding access to affordable health insurance, according to them, the law (especially its individual mandate provision) is an unconstitutional encroachment on individual rights that should be repealed. Therefore, replacing supporters of the law with detractors should increase the chances of that. For example, House Minority Leader John Boehner plans to make repeal his top priority if the GOP retakes control.
Meanwhile, those Democrats that voted against healthcare reform are touting their opposition. This is primarily true in conservative-leaning districts, due to the prevalence of first-term legislators that just barely won their seats in 2006 or 2008. Either President Obama lost in their districts, or narrowly won areas he would be extremely unlikely to prevail in today. Therefore, many politicians are attempting to distance themselves from his policies. However, their very presence in Congress would allow Democrats to retain their majority and push through legislation others may oppose. Even if they personally oppose healthcare reform, a Democratic politican is very unlikely to alienate their party establishment by actively pushing for it to be repealed. For many voters, that may be too much of a risk.
Yamileth Medina is an up and coming expert on Health Insurance and Healthcare Reform. She aims to help people realize that they can find affordable health insurance right now. Yamileth lives in Miami, FL.