Obama Telegraphs Health Care Vulnerability; Can GOP Capitalize?

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters File Photo)

Think Obamacare couldn’t possibly re-emerge as a campaign issue Republicans can use against Democrats? Think President Barack Obama isn’t concerned?

news conference

"For the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, they’re already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act even if they don’t know it,” Obama said, as a part of an answer that ran nearly 1,200 words.

It can hardly encourage congressional Democrats that Obama’s main sales pitch is that nobody has noticed a law that is supposed to improve the access, quality and price of one of the most important services they’ll need throughout their lives. Maybe this is why Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., among the chief architects of the law, has referred to its implementation as a train wreck.

But as Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the president, aptly noted during a Twitter exchange we had after Obama’s news conference concluded, it’s hardly clear that congressional Republicans can muster a concerted strategy to capitalize on this potential dose of political good fortune.