Anti-Obamacare Strategy Leaving Republicans in the Cold

Republicans out in the cold on Obamacare


Longtime Colorado Pols reader Republican 36 posted a fascinating diary last night about Republican Rep. Mike Coffman raising money with a different message on Obamacare. You can read the entire diary here, but here's the key excerpt:

Today I received a letter soliciting a campaign contribution from Coffman that contained a "confidential memo from Tyler Sandberg, his campaign manager, deriding Obamacare and making the usual false claims that "350,000" (everyone else says its 335,000) Coloradans had their health insurance canceled (forgetting to mention 92% received renewal notices in the same envelope with the cancelation of last year's policy) and claiming Obamacare "will be a significant issue this election," and claiming "It is a very real issue causing very real harm to Colorado families." In other words, at least in Mr. Sandberg's opinion, he lines up with the "Old Coffman" and wants Obamacare repealed.

However, Coffman's cover letter takes an altogether different position on Obamacare. In his fear based plea for contributions, he tees off on Nancy Pelosi and makes the following statement:


This is a subtle message from Mike Coffman's campaign that contains a startling reality: The incumbent Republican in perhaps the most competitive Congressional seat in America is no longer soliciting support based on a message of "repeal Obamacare." This is not a message that Coffman's campaign was likely to just toss out there without having numbers to back it up, which makes it very likely that Republicans are seeing polling numbers indicating that voters are getting tired of the anti-Obamacare message and looking for candidates to talk about how to "amend" or "reform" the law instead.

There's plenty of reason to believe that Coffman's move to an "amend and reform" message is not just a flash in the pan. As our friends at "The Fix" noted on Monday, President Obama is encouraging Democratic candidates to run with an overt pro-Obamacare message:

President Obama announced last week that more than eight million people had signed up for insurance via the federal marketplace, a surge of last-minute activity that not even the most optimistic administration allies could have hoped for. And, then there was the news from the Congressional Budget Office that the health-care law will cost $100 billion less than projected over the next decade.

Amid a (rare) victory lap on the law, Obama was asked whether the news of the past week meant Democratic candidates should run on the law this fall rather than away from it. His answer?  "I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact….we're helping because of something we did."

Late last month, after a series of anti-Obamacare ads were being debunked across the country, the Washington Post took note of what it called "The incredible shrinking Obamacare sob story." The problems with an anti-Obamacare message have continued here in our state; as Colorado Pols was first to report yesterday, the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity group is apparently having difficulty finding a "real" person who is a "victim" of Obamacare.

All of this is very bad news for Republican candidates in Colorado who were hoping to ride an anti-Obamacare message to victory in November. Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner, for one, is basing his entire campaign on trying to tie Obamacare to Sen. Mark Udall. If this message isn't working, Gardner won't be the only Republican looking for a new job.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Reforming Obamcare is different than repealing and replacing Obamacare?

    Seems to me it depends on the reform.  Reform Obamacare to eliminate mandates and mandatory coverages.  Is that Reform or repeal and replace?

    Seems to me these are buzz words without much meaning.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Well, the entire Republican program right now consists of buzz words without much meaning.

      • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

        If re-elected, I will promise to repeal reform Obamacare !

        This is going to be fun.  By November its going to be " well, I never said its a bad law, it just needs some tweaks here and there to make it better !"  The backpedaling is going to be so fun to watch.

        And who cast THE DECIDING VOTE !  UDALL !!!!   Thanks for doing his campaign advertising for him AC !

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        +50 Voyageur!

    • ParkHill says:

      Eliminating Mandates coverage requirements is gutting the law… That would probably lead to Single Payer, which would be a cheaper way to finance health care. 

      Is that your strategy?

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      American needs health care reform, Republicans argued for that in 1993. What we don't need is a government takeover of health care.

      Let's fix Obamacare, bearing in mind that once that happens it won't look much like Obamacare any more.

      • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

        You make absolutely no sense at all now.

      • Republican 36 says:

        The government has not taken over the healthcare system. The government has become more involved in the system because the vaunted free market system simply doesn't provide healthcare to everyone who needs it.

        When I was young LBJ convinced Congress to pass the Medicare program because the free market system of health insurance did not insure seniors, except at rates beyond the means of the average citizen. Before Medicare seniors were out-of-luck because tyhe insurance comapnies lost part of their profit margin if they insured older Americans because they have the most medical problems. There was nothing immoral about the companies behavior. The free market system demands, through a company's shareholders that it make a profit. Before Medicare, one way to maximize their profits was to refuse medical coverage to seniors. Therefore, the free market system utterly failed to provide insurance for seniors and the government stepped in to fill that gap. The same argument holds for those with pre-existing conditions.

        I believe in the free market system but not blindly. there are circumstances where it simply doesn't fill the need and if the need is great enough, an alternative menas to meet the need must be found. For seniors it was Medicare. for people without insurance or with pre-existing conditions it is Obamacare.

      • ajb says:

        Ha ha ha ha ha….

    • Republican 36 says:

      The problem with your argument is the fact words have meaning. Repeal and defund don't mean the same thing as amend and reform. In a legislative setting the first two mean you intend to either remove a law that is already on the books or you intend to stop its operation by starving it of funds. The last two words mean you intend to modify an existing law. There's a big difference and Mr. Coffman is signaling he now supports retaining Obamacare on the books.

    • ajb says:

      @AC…50 votes to repeal. No votes to reform or amend. Own it.

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    I thought Americans for Prosperity the Koch Brothers™ was supposed to have a press conference today at the Capitol.

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