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So say Eugene Robinson.

That's the first line of Obamacare’s victory lap, his column for Tuesday's Washington Post.

As he says in the paragraph that immediately follows,

All the naysaying in the world can’t drown out mounting evidence that the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, is a real success. Republican candidates running this fall on an anti-Obamacare platform will have to divert voters’ attention from the facts, which tell an increasingly positive story.
He reminds us of a number of facts in evidence
- 12 million people previously lacking coverage getting it this year
- 14 million more will be added by 2017
- without ACA 54 million Americans would have lacked health care, and ACA halves that.

There  is more to this column, and some thoughts of my own, beneath the cheese doodle.

Robinson reminds us that we are somewhat unique in not having moved to a single payer system, but instead having remained within the structure of the pre-existing system of private insurers.

But he frames it fairly clearly:

Many Republican critics of Obamacare know, but refuse to acknowledge, that the reforms are here to stay. Does the GOP propose to let insurance companies deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, as they could before the ACA? Does the party want to reimpose lifetime caps on the amount an insurer will pay? Tell young adults they can no longer be covered under their parents’ policies?

I didn’t think so.

Even some Republicans are acknowledging this, with a now-widely quoted but unnamed Republican staffer who has admitted that the problem with repeal and replace is anything you propose in place of ACA will have to look remarkably like it, with

-  kids staying on parents policies
-  no lifetime limits
-  no pre-existing condition exclusions

But this is not just a column about health care.

It is a column about politics.

Robinson reminds us of Republicans doubling down on ACA being a failure"  - he says they will not let facts get in the way of their rhetoric, which includes Obamacare = "bogeyman" and that they cannot find a "graceful way" of acknowledging the success of the law.

The rhetoric will sound ridiculous to moderate voters, but may energize the Republican base.  Which is why he writes

To do well in the fall, Democrats have to infuse their most loyal voters with similar enthusiasm. The success of Obamacare will help. Already, polls are showing upticks in support for embattled Democratic incumbent senators in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alaska. Democrats control their own destiny in November: If they can get their voters to the polls, they’ll win.
If they can get their voters to the polls, they’ll win.

You will get base Democratic voters to the polls if you give them something to vote for.

Standing up for "Obamacare" is one example.

So is arguing for unemployment extension

So is pointing out how the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes, perhaps by advocating for a financial transaction tax

So is advocating for infrastructure improvement that puts ordinary American to work and paying for it by taxes on corporations and the wealthy

In short, if you want to get the Democratic base to the poll, advocate for progressive, liberal, traditional DEMOCRATIC positions.

Do so by forcing Republicans to vote.

if they want to filibuster, make them actually filibuster and show the American people that to vote for Republicans is to vote for obstructionism and selfishness.

That will play in Senate races.

When the Senate passes things and the House refuses to vote, make an issue of that in ads.  You might be surprised how many Republican seats suddenly come into play when people begin to believe that their votes might actually matter.

Robinson ends his column by talking about the successes of ACA, even with its flaws, and then concludes

Of course it’s not perfect. It’s a thing of beauty anyway. We have liftoff. It’s working.
It is not only working.  It can be used to lift off a more progressive approach to governance.

It can be a major part of the advocacy that Democrats use in this cycle, if they have the guts to do so, as the ad featured on the front page about Mark Begich demonstrates.

Obamacare is working.

Now it is time for the Democrats to use that fact to remind the American people why they do better when Democrats are in control and how Republicans want to roll back the advances

-  the New Deal under FDR, yet Republicans want to privatize Social Security
-  the Great Society under LBJ yet the Ryan budget proposes voucherizing Medicare

you can easily add many more examples

The Republicans are entitled to any nutty opinion they choose to embrace,but as Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it, they are not entitled to their own facts.

Teh facts are on the side of the Democrats.

It is up to us to use those facts to make the arguments that WILL win the political contests

Just remember:

Obamacare is working.

You can stay on your parents insurance?
Obamacare is working.

You can change jobs despite having a pre-existing condition?
Obamacare is working.

You can actually get decent insurance you can afford, perhaps with a subsidy from the government?
Obamacare is working.

Make the argument, win the election;

Obamacare is working.


Originally posted to teacherken on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 07:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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