FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, here we go again–and again, and again:
When Republican Congressman Cory Gardner launched his U.S. Senate campaign in late February, he talked almost exclusively about his Democratic opponent’s support for Obamacare.
Since then, Obamacare has receded a bit as a GOP attack line as polling has indicated that Obamacare-related attacks aren’t getting much traction with voters… [Pols emphasis]
Obviously, those polls were wrong! Because Obamacare is still what Cory Gardner is spending money to talk about.
“When our family’s healthcare plan was cancelled because of Obamacare last year, we felt firsthand the painful effects of Senator Udall’s support for Obamacare. Countless families have seen their premiums rise, lost access to their doctors, or lost their health insurances plans altogether — they have Senator Udall to thank.”
Holding what’s apparently the cancellation letter his family received, Gardner notes in the ad that “335,000 Coloradans had their plans cancelled too.”
It's good question–is there anyone in Colorado who hasn't heard the GOP's story of the "335,000 Coloradans who had their health insurance plans cancelled?" If so, they must live in a cave with no radio or television reception, because this talking point has been used so many times since last October's rollout of the Affordable Care Act that is really seems to be the only thing Republicans know how to say about the law.
Never mind that it's, and this has got to be the hundredth time we've said so as well, completely bogus.
The amazing thing is, we've known this was a false claim almost since the day it was first heard. Last December, the Denver Post reported that over 90% of Colorado health plan holders who received a "cancellation letter" received renewal options with the same letter. Before President Barack Obama allowed existing plans to renew, Colorado exchange officials had already determined that they could do the same thing. This means those plans were either renewed per those instructions, or replaced with new plans that met the standards of the Affordable Care Act and–especially when subsidies are calculated–cost consumers substantially less money.
And that's what makes this a truly baffling theme for Gardner to keep harping on: this isn't last October. All these months later, Coloradans know the sky did not fall with the implementation of Obamacare. They can see with their own eyes that the GOP's outlandish scare tactics were not accurate. They know that those 335,000 "cancelled" Coloradans were not left without health insurance as Republicans would like them to believe: in fact the percentage of Colorado residents without insurance has plunged since Obamacare rolled out, from 17% to only 11% of the population.
Look, folks, we understand why Republicans invested so much money and credibility into the years-long assault on Obamacare. It has given the GOP an issue to rally their base around, and trouble with the rollout of the law has extended the issue's viability for them longer than they could have hoped. Backlash against the law, even based on falsehoods, helped the GOP achieve one of the greatest congressional victories in modern times back in 2010. Setting aside the moral questions, this has been an effective political weapon–up to a point.
But that point is long past now. Today, now that it contradicts what the voters can see, it's insanity to keep insisting disaster has either already befallen or is still somehow lurking.