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ACA Landscape Shift Memo

ACA Landscape Shift Memo

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Published by The Hill Newspaper
The DCCC says Democrats are on offense on the health care law.
The DCCC says Democrats are on offense on the health care law.

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Published by: The Hill Newspaper on Feb 26, 2014
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02/27/2014

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TO: Interested Parties
 
FR: DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward
 
RE: ACA Repeal Weighing Down Republicans in 2014
 
DT: February 26, 2014
 
Time and again, national Republicans have predicted they will gain a significant number of seats in 2014 because of their position on the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately for House Republicans, their fixation on repealing the ACA comes at their own peril in 2014, as the
 political landscape around the Affordable Care Act has shifted in Democrats’ fav
or. Democrats are now on offense over the Affordable Care Act, putting Republicans on their heels over the costs of their plan to repeal the law altogether.
 
Americans are rejecting
Republicans’ repeal agenda
 both nationally and in swing districts, where voters want to see the Affordable Care Act fixed and improved, not repealed. This is the long-held position of Democrats, while Republicans have a history of nearly 50 votes to dismantle the
law. Americans understand that Republicans’ repeal would
take us back to the days when insurance companies could do whatever they wanted to raise rates, deny care and drop coverage
 – 
 
and they don’t
 support
Republicans’ agenda.
 On Election Day, voters will ask themselves who is on their side: Democrats who are fighting for the middle class, or Republicans who are relentlessly focused on repealing the Affordable Care Act at the expense of middle class families and seniors.
Democratic ACA Offense
Democrats have launched what the  New York Times 
calls “an aggressive new strategy” to
address the problems with the law, suggest fixes and highlight the costs of Republi
cans’ repeal. “A memo from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee distributed to
candidates and consultants suggested possible lines of attack, such as accusing a Republican who voted to
repeal the health law of wanting “to go back to the days when
insurance companies could charge women more than men for the same coverage, and treat pregnancy as a pre-existing condition.
“The Democrats say they must try to blend criticism and optimism w
hen talking about
the law. ‘You have to acknowledge there were problems,’ said Representative Steve
Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
‘You can’t sugarcoat it. If you sugarcoat it, you lose all credibility. […]
 Once you acknowledge it, you have tell voters that you want to fix it and improve it
 — 
 but not repeal it
 — 
 
and remind them specifically of how a Republican repeal will hurt them.’”
 
recently reported, Democrats’ strategy is to point out the myriad ways that Republicans’ repeal would hurt Americans, from raising prescription drug prices to giving
insurance companies free rein over care.
 
Republica
ns’ Repeal Unpopular
The polling is consistent 
 – 
 and has been for months. Americans want to improve the Affordable Care Act and fix its problems, not repeal it and go back to the days when insurance companies had free rein to deny care, drop coverage and discriminate against women and people with  preexisting conditions.
 
When it comes to ACA and 2014, Charlie Cook  recently wrote:
 
“[Voters] want it fixed, not thrown out, nor do they want to go back to square one. The
smart Republicans should be arguing for fixing the flawed law; the smart Democrats
should admit its imperfections and seek to improve its shortcomings.”
Over the past several months, independent polls have confirmed this fact over and over again:
 
55 percent want to “keep and improve” ACA, while only 38 percent want to repeal it
[Kaiser Family Foundation, 1/30/14]
 
 
62 percent want to improve the law or keep it as-is, vs. only 34 who want it repealed [CBS, 1/23/14]
 
 
54 percent say it is a priority to “fix and keep” the Affordable Care Act [NBC/WSJ,
 
 
Just 28 percent want to “totally eliminate” the ACA. 67 percent want “minor modifications to improve it” or a major overhaul [NBC/WSJ, 12/4
-8/13]
 
 
Only 32 percent of Americans want to repeal ACA, while 57 percent want to change it or implement as-is [Gallup, 12/3-4/13]
 
 
Just 38 percent want repeal, while 58 percent either want to wait and see before changes are made, or want more funding to implement the law successfully [National Journal poll, 11/14-17/13]
 
 
Even during height of website fiasco, with Obama approval at lowest level ever, most  people still did not support repeal. 55 percent wanted to keep or change law, only 43  percent wanted total repeal [CBS, 11/15-18/13]
 
Republicans’ Fake ACA Horror Stories
In fact, Republicans are so desperate to prop up their unpopular repeal position that they are misleading voters about the Affordable Care Act
 – 
 and now there is a laundry list of fake horror stories that Republicans have peddled nationally and in their districts. The Los Angeles Times took a closer look at the lengthy list of falsehoods:

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