We've heard Democrats insists that the "successes" of Obamacare will be a major campaign talking point for them in 2014. In case you're wondering how they could possibly benefit from the train wreck that is Obamacare, WaPo's Greg Sargent has your answer: they don't. Instead of bragging about Obamacare, Democrats hope to be successful in 2014 by criticizing the Republican alternative -- something they've dubbed "Cruz Care," named for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz:
I’m told the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is set to launch a new campaign designed to refocus the debate on the Republican position on health care, which Dems will widely label as ”Cruz Care.”
With Ted Cruz set to roll out his own health plan — one that will probably look like the usual grab bag of GOP reform ideas, which just aren’t a reform alternative to Obamacare – Dems plan to tar GOP Senate candidates across the country with it, by hitting them as proponents of “Cruz Care.” Many GOP candidates also embraced Cruz’s Obamacare-driven government shutdown.
The “Cruz Care” campaign is grounded in a conviction that Republicans — and not a few D.C. pundits — are misreading public opinion on Obamacare. Dems believe that despite the law’s unpopularity, many voters don’t view the health care issue as a zero sum decision over whether Obamacare is good or bad. Rather, they can be persuaded to see this as choice — between fixing an admittedly imperfect reform and giving it a chance to work, and the GOP alternative, which is essentially to go back to the old system, where junk insurance and a lack of standards ”exposed people to financial and medical calamity.”
“The polls all show that when you shift the conversation from `support or oppose’ to ‘fix versus repeal,’ Democrats have the advantage,” Matt Canter, a spokesman for the DSCC, tells me. Regular readers know I broadly agree polls show disapproval of the law does not equal support for the GOP position of repeal.
The call for repeal fro the GOP isn't enough. If conservatives want to defeat Obamacare, they'll need to step forward with a real policy alternative.