High Profile Democrats Abandoning Obamacare Ship

Posted: Apr 19, 2012 8:29 AM
In the last few weeks, Democrats have been jumping the Obamacare ship at increasing rates. A former Representative from Pennsylvania who lost her seat in the 2010 election regretted her vote not just for electoral consequences but because she claimed she didn't imagine that the Obama HHS would require contraception coverage.

It's getting to higher-profile Democrats now. Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat favorite running against Scott Brown in Massachusetts, came out in support of partial repeal of the law.

Elizabeth Warren, who is campaigning in Massachusetts against incumbent Senator Scott Brown (R), authored an op-ed that calls for the repeal of Obamacare’s medical device tax. Under the law, Obamacare imposes a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers, beginning in 2013. The cost of the new tax–$20 billion from 2013 to 2019–will be passed down to consumers, who will ultimately pay the price through higher medical costs and premiums.

While this is only a very limited basis, it speaks to the incredible unpopularity the law has. During the Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of the law, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seemed to yearn for Obamacare to be overturned.

Now, Democrat Senator Jim Webb has laid out his objections to the Obama Administration's tactics.

“I’ll be real frank here,” Webb said at a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News. “I think that the manner in which the health-care reform issue was put in front of the Congress, the way that the issue was dealt with by the White House, cost Obama a lot of credibility as a leader.”

Virginia somewhat surprisingly went blue in 2008 after Webb won his Senate seat in 2006. Republicans hope to play off Obamacare's massive unpopularity come election day, and Virginia Democrats in particular have been critical of the law.

Even Barney Frank has seen the writing on the wall.

The retiring Massachusetts Democrat told New York magazine that he thought Obama’s push for health care reform was a “mistake,” comparing it to a failed reform effort by former President Bill Clinton’s in the 1990s.

He argued that after the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate with the election of Scott Brown, a Republican, health care reform should have been pushed back.

“I think we paid a terrible price for health care,” he said. “I would not have pushed it as hard.”

Obama and the Democrats used up a massive amount of political will in order to shove through the huge health care overhaul. Democrats paid a price in 2010 and are worried that trend is going to continue in 2012.

Editors' note: this piece previously implied that Sen. Webb was running for re-election. He is not.