Healthcare Reform May Sicken Democrats’ Re-election Prospects

article top

BY SALLY C. PIPES – With Election Day just around the corner, the midterm campaign season is heating up. Several Democratic senators are fighting for political survival. A new CNN poll shows 83 percent of respondents said that health care was “extremely” or “very important” to how they would vote this November.

A majority of voters — 50 percent, according to the latest Rasmussen poll — still support repealing the measure. Prominent incumbents may regret their full-throated support for Obamacare.


The people of Nevada might keep Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid home for the first time in a quarter century. A recent Rasmussen poll put him in a dead heat with Republican Sharron Angle. More than half of Nevadans have an unfavorable opinion of the Majority Leader and most oppose Obamacare’s requirement that they purchase health insurance. Neither is a good sign for Reid.

For Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold the passage of Obamacare could represent a costly victory. Several polls show him neck-and-neck with Republican Ron Johnson. With 55 percent of state voters favoring repeal of the health reform plan, Feingold may not survive.

Some politicians have already lost. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was famously upended earlier this year by Republican Scott Brown in what amounted to a referendum on Obamacare.

Americans don’t appreciate being told how to spend their money. The individual mandate — forcing every American to buy health insurance — remains the most unpopular part of Obamacare.

The highest penalty for not carrying insurance will be $173 a month or 2.5 percent of family income. Insurance is often more expensive than the penalty, so individuals may decide to just pay the fine.

Obamacare represents the biggest tax increase in our country’s history — $569 billion over the next decade. Many folks will face a new 3.8 percent Medicare tax on “unearned” income, such as interest, capital gains, annuities, royalties, rents, and dividends. This tax doesn’t apply only to the wealthy — a retiree selling her home to move to a rental in warmer climes could get walloped by the levy too.

As the recession continues, people will grow more skeptical of measures like Obamacare. A full two-thirds of voters oppose another government stimulus package — they’re fed up with the level of spending by Washington politicians.

The political fallout from Obamacare has already evidenced itself in places like Massachusetts. Many other Democrats may soon fall victim to this radioactive reform measure.

Sally C. Pipes is President & CEO of the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book, The Truth About Obamacare (Regnery 2010), was just released.