The White House and other Obamacare enthusiasts believe Americans have learned to love the “Affordable Care Act” imposed by Democrats in December 2010. Unfortunately, for them, Democrats running for office in 2014 are not feeling the love.
In 2010, Republicans gained 62 seats in the House of Representatives and 700 state legislative seats across the country after the partisan bill was passed. Fast-forward to 2014 midterm elections and political analysts are predicting something between another Republican wave election and the House of Representatives gaining five to 10 seats as well as significant gains in the Senate.
However, 2016 could be even worse for Democrats. During the 2016 presidential elections, the bill for Obamacare – a political animal since its inception – comes due. Democrats delayed the costs of Obamacare to insurance companies until January 2017. This means, whomever the Republican 2016 presidential candidate is, he or she will benefit from an extreme jump in the costs of healthcare insurance premiums.
Obamacare, by partisan design, was implemented so the U.S. government (taxpayers) would have to refund insurance companies for any money they lose through 2016. After that, the government subsidies to healthcare insurance companies end, and they will need to make up the difference by increasing insurance premiums or go out of business. Mr. Obama and the Democrats figured they could implement the unpopular law and make people learn to love it by 2014, two years before premium rates surge as government subsidies to insurance companies end. However, as more Americans learn more about the details, the law continues to become more unpopular.
Beltway pundit Stuart Rothenberg recently announced that he is “expecting a sizable Republican Senate wave” this year. He believes the GOP will pick up at least seven seats to gain majority control of the Senate and will not be “shocked by a larger gain.”
While it is easy to connect to left-leaning Internet websites and find stories proclaiming the Affordable Care Act is working, the political reality for Democratic candidates is starkly different. Health industry expert Bob Laszewski says that Democrats who think the issue will fade by Election Day are engaged in “Wishful thinking.”
However, as bad as 2014 midterms look for Democrats, the real costs of Obamacare hit in late 2016 as insurance companies lose their government guarantees built in to attract consumers early on. New premium pricing reflecting an end of government guarantees will be announced in the summer and fall of 2016, just as presidential election campaigns are boiling over. President Obama won’t be running, but Obamacare may be the gift that keeps on giving for Republicans.