Some Democrats Talking Up Health Law On Stump

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Candidates Starting to Take More Assertive Stance on Affordable Care Act.

Democratic candidates have begun to take a more assertive stance on the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the most popular benefits of the law and attacking Republicans for trying to repeal them.

Not long ago, many Democrats were in a defensive crouch when it came to health care, amid public anger about the botched rollout of the federal website to sign up for insurance and stories of people who lost existing coverage because it didn’t meet federal standards. Many focused on fixes they said should be made to the law rather than trying to convince voters of its benefits.

Now, in at least half a dozen competitive Senate and gubernatorial races, Democrats and their allies are airing TV commercials that directly support the legislation, focusing on its guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventive-care benefits and a ban on charging women more for insurance.

In some cases, the ads talk up how the Democrat candidate has worked to guarantee these benefits; in others, they attack a Republican for wanting to take them away.

In Michigan, for instance, the Senate Majority PAC, which is working to elect Democrats, aired a TV spot attacking Republican Terri Lynn Land for seeking to repeal the health law.

Sen. Kay Hagan

At a Senate hearing to consider the nomination of a new health secretary this month, Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.), who is in a tough re-election race, hailed the Medicaid expansion available under the act and criticized her state’s leadership for declining the federal money that would allow North Carolina to add a half million people to the program.

In Florida, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, running for governor, has fully embraced the law. “I don’t shy away from it. I don’t back away from it. I don’t apologize for it. It’s the right thing to do,” he said in April, according to the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

“Wrapping yourself around Obamacare may be the least bad strategy for Democrats, but that doesn’t make it a winning one,” said Crossroads spokesman Paul Lindsay.

Polling shows that the law remains unpopular. In Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling in April, 46% of respondents said the law is a bad idea, and 36% said it is a good idea.

The shaky support for repeal, combined with the federal website generally working and millions signing up for coverage, help explain the new tone from some Democrats.

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