Rich Galen

During his press conference last week, President Barack Obama was asked by Politico's Edward Isaac-Dovere whether he would advise Democrats to run on the success of the Affordable Care Act.

According to the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza the President said in response:

"I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact....we're helping because of something we did."

He also said, "I don't think we should be defensive about it."

Defending something without being defensive while doing it will twist most Democratic candidates into rhetorical knots, but that's not the point.

The point is, I have been around pretty senior Democratic operatives and message mavens over the past two weeks and they have been vociferous in their claims that Republicans are wrong in their estimation that Obamacare will be a negative issue for Democrats in November's elections.

So much so, that I am becoming convinced this is a coordinated effort to scare Republicans away from talking about Obamacare so the campaigns will be fought in an arena more friendly to Democrats.

Eight million people having signed up for Obamacare does not, as the President claimed, prove that the program is working. It proved that six months after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threw the switch, the signup process finally worked well enough for people to avoid being fined for not signing up.

Getting people to enroll in a program is not evidence that the program is working. We don't know how many people will not, even with subsidies, be able to afford their deductibles and on-going premiums.

We don't know how many who can afford their deductibles and premiums will be able to find the medical services they are paying for.

We don't know how much insurance companies will have to increase those deductibles and/or premiums when the rates reset later this year.

And, here is the big one: We don't know - and won't know for a long time - whether the general health of the American population will have been improved with the advent of Obamacare which is, in the end, is the point of the exercise.

Over the past 30 years there have been two major political seismic jolts in elections for the U.S. House.

The first was in 1994 when Newt Gingrich took political control of Republican Members of Congress who had been in the minority for so long they were not just suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome, some were actually speaking Swedish in the the Republican House Cloakroom.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.