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Forbes: Will Health Care Matter in this Election?
To run on Obamacare or not? That is this election’s question. Over the summer, “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory suggested congressional candidates in tough districts and even the White House may deliberately avoid running on the healthcare law. Yet, some progressives poo-poo such claims—calling, instead, for candidates to embrace a “full-throated defense” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
These conflicting views raise the question: in light of the available evidence, is it reasonable to believe that ACA will be a net voter winner for the president?
Results of the 2010 cycle offer insight to the answer. In that election, Democrats lost 6 seats in the Senate and 63 seats in the House representing the largest swing in House seats in the GOP’s favor since 1938 and exceeding the typical gains of 16 House seats in off-year elections. These historic gains far surpassed predictions nonpartisan analysts made in April 2010 (right after Congress passed the healthcare law). They likewise exceeded those of the 1994 wave election.
State level changes were arguably even more impressive. Republicans gained 7 governorships and 680 seats in state legislatures. All told, the GOP received control of 22 state legislative chambers in the 2010 election cycle, while their opposition gained none. This left Republicans with more state legislative seats (3,941) than in any other time since 1928, when they held 4,001.
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