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Mo Elleithee: I’m eager and proud to run on Obamacare in 2014

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"We will tattoo it to their forehead in 2014.”

That’s what RNC Chair Reince Priebus said this weekend about how the GOP would try to use Obamacare to beat Democratic candidates in 2014.

By tattooing it to our foreheads.

Well, I’ve got a message for Reince – bring it on.

You see, I’m a Democrat who – despite all the glitches -- is anxious, eager and proud to run ON the Affordable Care Act.

Why?

Because it’s working, and people are already getting better, more affordable health care than before.

People no longer have to worry about losing coverage for preexisting conditions.

Young Americans are able to stay on the parent’s health plan for longer.

People across the country are able to shop around and find better coverage for less money.

And 500,000 Americans have, so far, been able to sign up for health coverage through the federal exchange, state exchanges, and Medicaid expansion.

That’s half a million Americans who did not have health insurance, that now do. And one million more consumers are ready to get the plan that’s right for them. And that’s just in one month.

Has it been perfect?  No.  President Obama and Democrats are the first to admit the website challenges have been unacceptable.  Would more people be able to enroll if the website was working properly – yes, of course.  And they will.

But you know what else would help get more people enrolled?  If Republicans would stop their concerted effort to block the law at every turn.  If more Republican governors would set up state exchanges or expand Medicaid.  If Republican lawmakers would stop holding ridiculous hearings to score political points, and help folks figure out how to fix the problems.

But they’ve never really been interested in that.  They don’t want Obamacare to work.  They are actually afraid of it working.  Why?  Because they know once people begin to enjoy the benefits that come with a better and more affordable health care system, they won’t want to give them up.

And that terrifies Republicans to no end.  So much so, that they even shut down the government and risked us defaulting on our national bills in order to stop it.

Look, we’ve got some work to do to fix the glitches and get more people enrolled.  We did that during the Bush Administration when Medicare Part D had a rocky rollout, and we can do it again now.

Will that stop the Republicans from trying to kill it?  Nope.  Ted Cruz has already signaled that he’s open to another shutdown in January to try to stop Obamacare.  Just as President Obama unveiled some administrative fixes to the program, Marco Rubio said that, “by no means should we be exploring ways to fix this law.” John Boehner renewed his commitment to “targeted strikes” aimed at repealing Obamacare, regardless of its impact on the American people.

They are going to keep fighting this to the bitter end.

Talk about tone deaf.

This is what they want to expend their energy on.  Nothing else.  (Well, except for restricting women’s health care decisions. They’ll still keep trying that.  Oh, and blocking commonsense immigration reform.  That appears to be a priority as well.)

No wonder a poll this week showed Congressional approval at an all-time low:  9%! 

So, yeah.  I’m eager, anxious and proud to run on this in 2014.

Because under the Affordable Care Act, half a million people have signed up for health care so far, and that number is only going to get higher.  The Republican plan is to try to take that away.

Because under the Affordable Care Act, being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition.  The Republican plan would not only make it one again, but they would impose even more restrictions on women’s health care access.

Because every single Democratic member of Congress is committed to finding the solutions to make the Affordable Care Act work even better.  The Republican Party?  It shut down the federal government, delivering a $24 billion hit to our economy.

I’ll take that fight any day of the week. 

Republicans tried to “tattoo” Obamacare to our foreheads in 2012.  We won.  They tried it in Virginia in 2013.  We won. 

Now they want to try it again in 2014?

OK.

I’ll buy the ink.

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