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Obama campaign hopes popular pieces of health care law will win Nevada votes

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 (2 a.m.)

President Barack Obama speaks at a UPS facility in Las Vegas Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

President Barack Obama speaks at a UPS facility in Las Vegas Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

To Republicans, the federal health care law passed two years ago by Democratic majorities in Congress and signed by President Barack Obama is a favorite example of government overreach and excessive spending. Calls for its repeal have become easy applause lines in GOP stump speeches and part of the party’s case to independent voters.

But don’t expect Obama to cede that ground in his re-election bid this year. As part of an effort in key battleground states, including Nevada, the Obama campaign will begin this week using pieces of the health care law to try to win over women, senior citizens, Hispanics and young adults.

The effort comes amid a fracas over insurance coverage for contraception and abortion that national polls show is hurting Republicans with women voters — a critical demographic for the president’s re-election effort.

In coming weeks, the Obama campaign will launch Nurses for Obama in Nevada to tout the health care law. The campaign also will champion the health care law’s merits through phone banks and door-to-door canvassing.

“In two years, every single American, regardless of their circumstances, will have access to affordable, quality health insurance,” Aoife McCarthy, a spokeswoman for Obama’s Nevada campaign, said. “Presidents have been trying to make that happen for 70 years. President Obama got it done.”

By talking about what’s popular in the health care law, Democrats hope to seize control of the debate over the law that Republicans derisively call “Obamacare.”

Indeed, polling shows parts of the law have strong voter approval — subsidies, coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, free preventive care and prohibitions on lifetime coverage caps.

The problem for Democrats, and the boon for Republicans politically, is that in order to make it work, the law mandates every individual carry health insurance or be fined. That provision remains deeply unpopular with voters, according to polls.

Still, the reasoning behind Obama’s championing of the health care law is twofold: It’s a rallying cry for the Democratic base, and it appeals to women voters, particularly as the debate over contraception coverage gets louder.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is interviewed by the Las Vegas Sun in his office in the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is interviewed by the Las Vegas Sun in his office in the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Democrats hope to frame the debate this way: “The president is fighting for these provisions while Republicans like Mitt Romney and the rest of the field are fighting to take them away,” Democratic spokesman Zac Petkanas said. “It’s a powerful message and one we see resonate in the polls.”

The Obama campaign also will be touting provisions of the law that are popular with other key groups of voters in Nevada: senior citizens — the law helps them with prescription drug benefits — and young adults — they can remain on their parents’ insurance longer.

The tactic worked for Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., during his tough 2010 re-election campaign, when he blunted Republican attacks on the health care law by touting its more popular provisions.

“The president owns this bill, so frankly it doesn’t work for him to run away from it,” a Democratic strategist said. “And given the polling, there’s no reason why he should.”

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Discussion: 16 comments so far…

  1. Here we go again. Some of the above commenters come out with all the old arguments about the Affordable Care Act that have already been refuted. If they were to actually see what it has accomplished so far to help people and not scrape political talking point crap that infects Michelle Bachman's and Sara Palin's brain pan cavities, the rest of America would be a lot better off.

    The simple fact of the matter is that FINALLY, after at least a hundred years or so, America is on the way to providing affordable and adequate health care for everyone. Although it is not perfect, it's a start. The only reason it's not perfect is because of the political obstacles that had to be accomodated to get this place in time. It is NOT socialism when you care for people and try to get them the best health care possible. Not for the few, BUT FOR ALL.

    What the neo-conservatives really want people to ignore is the fact that some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act are already in place. Benefits that are helping not only individuals, but businesses as well.

    As another commenter pointed out, some of FDR's policies met the same firestorm, but as time went on, they are not only popular, but they are institutions, carved in stone and cannot be removed.

    This will also happen with the Affordable Care Act. I only see it getting better when calm rational voices in our government emerge and we return to bi-partisanship. Then and only then will we get legislation in place to improve it.

    One thing for sure is the fact that if any of the things that are now in effect are removed by any future Tea/Republican Party politicians that get into power, they will set into motion something that will make them think they are immersed in the fires of hell. The Affordable Care Act is gaining popularity and, by the time 2014 rolls around and the main parts of it slowly take effect, all those neo-conservative voices will end up being silenced. Because the Affordable Care Act will then be the same as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...popular.

    So suck it up, ultra-righties. It's here. It's right now. AND IT'S STAYING. We ain't going back to only the rich and the well off can afford health care while the rest just die quickly. Join the 21st Century, Tea/Republicans. Because we are not going back to a time when indifference, neglect and uncaringness are the norm.

    FINAL NOTE TO THE FOX NEWS VIEWERS: It's called the Affordable Care Act. Not "Obamacare." President Obama has already stated he is happy it has happened finally and is privileged to sign it into law, but the fact is it actually belongs to all of us. But if you persist, yes, it is indeed a fact that President Obama cares. And he has signalled he can live with that.

  2. This recent article adds to my above comment...


    American lives are precious.

    And it takes precedence over money.

    We can't go back to letting health insurance companies picking and choosing what gets covered and what doesn't; all so their profit margins increase.

    Call me anything you want.

    But one thing you can't call me is insane.

    The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.

  3. So far it has lost my vote and is a deal breaker for this Democrat.

    My medical care is has been incrementally getting much more expensive since the Obama pressed law passed to put it on the road to being "free." Get ready for medical choice to be less available and for medical and private insurance industry wages to fall and overall costs to go up as the govt skims the profit off to "cut costs" (uh, I mean hire and keep more federal union workers employed).

    This is truly a nice deal for the federal union workers who get to live off the stolen medical profits. And doubly so for the predatory capitalist and Predatory Union boss friends of the RINO/DINO party in Washington. Lots of private jet travel junkets are certainly in ALL their futures fueled by the money stolen from our medical care. Don't forget they are doing it for THEIR children BUT NOT your's.

  4. Blaming the economy on entitlements is like blaming Hitler on the Jews. It's ridiculous. We have a global economy that has really American competitiveness in manufacturing. We have to adjust, and dominate the next thing. Or we have to realize we have to share the market with the rest of the world and maximize the benefits of that.

    The American government can play a big role in that, but it involves investing in business development, something Republicans believe government should have nothing to do with.

  5. The math shames the Administration and the RINO/DINO party now in power in Washington.

    It takes just under/about 270-280,000 new non farm jobs per month nationally to equal a flat job growth. We are not reaching a flat growth in new jobs as of now and did not, on average, in the past two years. Our average job growth was more on the order of, a disastrous, 145,000 per average monthly growth in the last two years. It has been higher only recently. But even the higher amount is still less than flat-line growth.



    Quote from the March 9, 2012 report highlights:

    "Total nonfarm employment rose by 227,000 in February (2012), compared to an average increase of 245,000 over the last 3 months."

    Over the last two years, nonfarm payrolls have added 3.5 million jobs. Of the 8.8 million net jobs lost between January 2008 and February 2010, 40 percent have been recovered." (punctuation period vacant in report added by writer)

    Unfortunately this means 60% of the 8.8 jobs lost since January 2008 have not been recovered.

    This is dismal at it's best.

    That is an actual continuing deficit of 5.28 million jobs in those two years.

    Not the rosy picture the Administration would have us believe.

    To get to the administrations current figures

    They DO COUNT the unemployed.

    They ignore and do NOT count:

    The huge number of formerly fully employed people now under-employed who are seeking full time work but cannot find a full time job.

    The millions of former full time job positions lost to the ongoing recession (the positions and often their companies no longer exist.)

    The huge number of people who cannot find any job and who have given up seeking any work.

    All together these disastrous figures add up to around 16% (minimum) up to 25% of the work force unemployed, out of work, or underemployed depending on who you talk to.

    Being out of work is not being unemployed....to be unemployed you must have no job and be seeking work. If you have no job and have given up seeking due to the poor economy then you are out of work but NOT unemployed.

    To illuminate the true human tragedy in America would shame the RINO/DINO party now in power in Washington. They parse words in partial reports to give a rosy unreal picture.

    They trumpet the record number of new food stamp applicants but not in the same news conference as the deliberately minimize out of work figures.

    Go inside the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on line to see how the statistics are being manipulated.

  6. Want a sterling example of govt investment? Solyndra

    Private investment is self correcting because the risk and self interest minimizes foolish investments.

    The govt is a poor money manager at best. The only risk they worry about is if the publicity is bad or if the company stops donating to campaigns.

    Thus, when politics dictate government investments initial poor investment with excessive risk/loss is followed by more poor investment with guaranteed loss.

    And some of the money "invested" is inevitably washed thru the company accounts and salaries into the campaign or PAC of the politician responsible.