Since Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law was rammed down the throat of the American people, Democrats have suffered at the polls. They’ve lost ground in every election since 2010, and the final blow was the election of Donald Trump, a political neophyte who ran a bare bones campaign and defeated a well funded, experienced Hillary Clinton.
In the wake of that embarrassing defeat, Democrats were left with two options: They could finally listen to the American people, consider an agenda that appeals to Americans outside of California and the Acela corridor, and put forth an agenda that appeals to moderate middle Americans, or, they could double down on the same failed leaders and policies that got them here while screeching about Russia and fake news.
They chose the latter path, and as a result, the last remaining red state Dems may be waving goodbye to their jobs. As the NRSC noted in a press release earlier today, Chuck Schumer’s leadership will cost Democrats dearly:
As Obamacare continues to collapse across the country, Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats made clear that the party’s takeover by the ultra-liberal Elizabeth Warren wing is complete, with Democrats voting in lockstep to keep Obamacare. Schumer has even gone so far as to brag that no Democrats were willing to so much as talk about compromise on health care.
Red State Democrats, including Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Debbie Stabenow, and Bob Casey voted in favor of keeping Obamacare, showing that their loyalties lie with their fellow D.C. liberals, not with families back home. These embattled Senators will now have to explain to their constituents, who resoundingly voted for change in Washington in November, why they continue to support this unpopular, failed law.
“New York liberal Chuck Schumer is ensuring Red State Democrats are retired this election cycle as his Senate Democrats continue to stand united behind Obamacare as it collapses across the country,” said NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin. “Americans have made clear that they want a new direction on health care, but Senate Democrats have proven once again their only concern is preserving President Obama’s legacy.”
This Year, Obamacare Premiums Will Increase By An Average Of 25 Percent, The Largest Cost Increase Yet. “Premiums for mid-level Obamacare health plans sold on the federal exchanges will see their biggest jump yet next year, another speed bump in the administration’s push for enrollment in the final months of the U.S. president’s term. Monthly premiums for benchmark silver-level plans are going up by an average of 25 percent in the 38 states using the federal HealthCare.gov website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a report today. Last year, premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plans went up by 7.5 percent on average across 37 states.” (Zachary Tracer, “Obamacare Benchmark Premiums To Rise 25% In Sharpest Jump Yet,” Bloomberg, 10/24/16)
Additionally, More Than One In Five Obamacare Exchange Consumers Will Only Have One Insurer To Choose From. “The Department of Health and Human Services also warned that more than one in five consumers using the site will only have one insurer from which to choose coverage.” (Jayne O’Donnell, “Some Obamacare Rates Rise 25% As Healthcare.gov Opens For Shopping,” USA Today, 10/24/16)
The Total Number Of Insurers On HealthCare.gov Will Decline By 28 Percent In 2017. “The total number of HealthCare.gov insurers will drop from 232 this year to 167 in 2017, a loss of 28 percent. (Insurers are counted multiple times if they offer coverage in more than one state. So Aetna, for example, would count once in each state that it participated in.)” (“Obamacare Premiums Will Increase By Average Of 25 Percent For Some Plans,” Chicago Tribune, 10/24/16)
Bloomberg Reports That At Least 1.4 Million People Will Lose Their Obamacare Plan This Year Due To Insurers Dropping Out Of The Exchanges. “A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise. At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg. That’s largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law’s markets for individual coverage.” (Zachary Tracer, Tatiana Darie, And Katherine Doherty, “More Than 1 Million to Lose Obamacare Plans As Insurers Quit,” Bloomberg, 10/14/16)
Associated Press: Study: Obamacare Premium Increases Will Cost Taxpayers An Additional $10 Billion In 2017. “Taxpayers will fork over nearly $10 billion more next year to cover double-digit premium hikes for subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s law, according to a study being released Thursday. The analysis from the Center for Health and Economy comes as the Republican-led Congress is preparing to repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with a GOP alternative whose details have yet to be worked out. With incoming President Donald Trump likely to sign such legislation, historic coverage gains under the 2010 health law are at stake. The study estimates that the cost of premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will increase by $9.8 billion next year, rising from $32.8 billion currently to $42.6 billion.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Study: Premium Hikes Add $10B To Taxpayers’ Health Tab,” The Associated Press, 12/15/16)
Senate Democrats Are Refusing To Even Discuss A New Health Care Law. “…Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer told progressives Monday night that the Democrats were not going to throw the ‘flummoxed’ majority party any lifelines. ‘Not a single Democrat is negotiating,’ Schumer said on a call organized by MoveOn and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. ‘We ain’t resting until the move to repeal the ACA has a dagger through its heart.’” (David Weigel, “Schumer: No Democrat is compromising with GOP on Obamacare replacement,” Washington Post, 1/10/17)
This is a thorough and accurate portrait of a political party in crisis. The American people warned them, time and again, and Schumer and Pelosi stood there with their hands in their ears, knowing Republicans didn’t have the votes.
They still don’t, technically, but Schumer’s uncompromising approach, and an apocalyptic 2018 map means Democrats who don’t vote to repeal may be paying with their electoral lives.