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>> Josh Hawley. He's for the insurance companies, not you.>> With the November elections fast approaching, political attacks are once again flying over former president Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. But this time it's the Republicans who are taking the heat, not the Democrats. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where nearly a decade of political wisdom is being flipped on its head.
Obamacare was seen as a loser for Democrats, now they're rallying around the law and using it to bludgeon their Republican opponents. They're calculating that voters are more interested in expanding access to healthcare than scaling it back. Republicans meanwhile, are downplaying the issue. In Missouri, Democratic groups are attacking Republican senate candidate Josh Hawley for trying to dismantle the health law in court.
Ads like this one play up the personal benefits of Obamacare without mentioning it by name.>> 2.5 million Missourians have preexisting conditions.>> Their attorney general Josh Hawley went to court to rip away health care.>> In West Virginia, Democratic senator Joe Manchin has been using the same approach in his ads to go after his Republican opponent, Patrick Morrisey.
>> Now the threat is Patrick Morrisey's lawsuit to take away healthcare from people with preexisting conditions. He is just dead wrong, and that ain't gonna happen.
Nationwide, Democrats are bringing up healthcare more than twice as often as Republicans in TV ads. According to the Wesleyan Media Project, that's a big change from past elections when Republicans were more likely to talk about it.
Republicans used repeal and replace as their rallying cry for years. Now, they've largely gone silent after failing in several attempts to overturn Obamacare under President Trump.>> No.>> And despite the health law's well publicized problems, some 24 million Americans are now benefitting. Many of them in poor states that Trump carried in 2016.
That hasn't stopped him from trying to weaken it.>> Obamacare has been broken and it's been a broken promise.>> This comes as potential presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren are rallying behind a sweeping proposal that would extend government healthcare to all Americans. That would make Obamacare look like small potatoes by comparison.
It's not likely to happen anytime soon, but it's another sign that the politics around this issue are shifting. And this time, Democrats are confident they're on the winning side.