Its fate may be in the hands of the Supreme Court come Monday, but on Friday Democrats were not shy about defending the landmark 2010 healthcare reform law on the second anniversary of its enactment.
While President Obama himself talked about healthcare reform Friday only in the form of a single quote on the White House website, many other prominent Democrats were much more voluble — including Vice President Joe Biden, who extolled the virtues of reform in an email to supporters for the Democratic National Committee.
But perhaps the boldest defense of healthcare reform came from the man who has his hand on the president’s political pulse, the head of the Obama 2012 re-election campaign.
Campaign Manager Jim Messina fired off his own email Friday afternoon with the subject header, “Obamacare is working,” taking back ownership of a term the right has used as a pejorative since nearly the beginning of healthcare reform.
“Today is the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Since then, the law that almost everyone calls Obamacare has been doing exactly what the other side has hoped it wouldn’t do: It’s been working. It’s about time we give it the love it deserves,” Messina says.
He notes that each of the Republican candidates for president this year have made repeal of Obamacare central parts of their campaigns.
“They’ll have to explain that to millions of Americans whose lives are now better because of it,” Messina says. “Because repealing Obamacare would mean telling women that they should be charged up to 50 percent more for coverage just for being women. Families with sick kids could once again be denied coverage because of an arbitrary ‘pre-existing condition’ label. Seniors could lose hundreds of dollars a year on the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy. And millions of Americans would once again have to worry about going bankrupt if they got sick, because before Obamacare, insurance companies were allowed to place lifetime caps on coverage, saying: ‘We’ll only take care of you up to a point.’
“We’ve been there. We’ve had that health system. And it didn’t work. Obamacare does,” Messina says.
The Supreme Court may get healthcare reform on Monday, but on Friday, Democrats took ownership of Obamacare — happily.
Scott Nance is the editor and publisher of the news site The Washington Current. He has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.