Talking Points Memo notes why
Republicans have fought so long and hard against advances toward universal health care coverage
— it's popular and it helps millions of people. When the message sinks in, voters are more likely to thank those (Democrats) who delivered it than those who opposed it (Republicans.)
Arkansas is something of an outlier, with a Republican cadre that was critical to bringing a portion of Obamacare to Arkansas under terms more advantageous to the private insurance industry, a model that other Republican states may follow.
But, of course, TPM's celebration is premature, with an election less than two months away and all signs pointing in Dixie to the continuing power of revulsion at anything connected with President Obama
. Even Rep. John Burris
— who helped pass Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in Arkansas and got beat in a Senate primary for his work — is now working on the payroll of a U.S. Senate candidate leading in the polls, Tom Cotton
, who continues to beat up on the Affordable Care Act and all other government safety net programs. But consider:
Obamacare has provided a lifeline by providing coverage to 8 million people on the exchanges, 7 million under Medicaid expansion and 5 million people who bought insurance outside the exchanges but benefit from new regulations for heath insurance like banning coverage to those with preexisting conditions. Even Republicans in deeply conservative states are suggesting that the popular new benefits cannot be taken away,
even if the Obamacare brand still struggles.
Cotton continues to claim he wants to "repeal Obamacare." But he stops short of saying specifically he wants to repeal his employee Burris' version of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. Problem is, if he actually COULD repeal Obamacare, the Burris state Obamacare plan would be toast.
Voters may repent in their leisure for voting for Tom Cotton on the strength of believing what he says.