It should come as no surprise that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) told a television interviewer that he would vote for Obamacare all over again if given the chance. After all, this is a guy who called the law a "huge success story" not too long ago. It'd be a bit jarring for him to morph from that level of exuberance to foreswearing his vote -- so he had no choice but to swallow hard and stand behind it:
Notice how he disputes the six million cancellations statistic, calling the numbers "debatable." Fox News tabulated first wave cancellations at 6.2 million, a figure the Washington Post fact-checker accepted in criticizing a separate claim by John Boehner. Whether the exact number was five million, six million, or more, it is an indisputable fact that millions of consumers were booted off of their existing coverage in spite of promises from people like Mark Pryor that they could keep their plans. And many more Americans will be betrayed by that lie over the next few years. President Obama and the "Affordable" Care Act are extremely unpopular in Arkansas, where the political tea leaves look worrisome for Democrats heading into the fall. That's why Pryor's campaign has resorted to peddling straight-up, discredited lies about Republican Tom Cotton. What does the Bible say about lying, Senator? Meanwhile, in Iowa, Bruce Braley keeps on digging. He's the Democratic Senate candidate who was caught on camera disparaging, er, Iowa farmers and popular Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley during an out-of-state fundraiser with fellow trial lawyers. His damage control efforts have been shambolic -- and that was before he said this:
Being a trial lawyer is just like being a farmer, if you really think about it. I'm one of you, Iowa! His stilted, pro forma delivery is about as awkward as you might expect from such a strained statement. For their part, Braley's campaign says the uproar over his epic mistake is overblown, and that Republicans will overplay it like they've overplayed Obamacare. Speaking of which, what's the latest news on Obamacare?
Health care spending rose at the fastest pace in 10 years last quarter, a development that could foreshadow higher costs for consumers this year. Expenses for health care rose at a 5.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said last week. The jump triggered a sharp upward revision in the government's estimate of consumer spending overall and accounted for nearly a quarter of the economy's 2.6% annualized growth in the last three months of 2013.
Obamacare's "cost curve down" promise went up in smoke years ago, but now it looks like the White House may have to abandon their (mendacious and debunked) talking point that Obamacare has led to slowing health costs. If last quarter's accelerating spending was the beginning of a trend, Phil Klein sees major pain in our future, arguing that lingering tech problems will be the least of Democrats' Obamacare worries.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography