Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2014

Obamacare Can Be Complicated for Republicans Beyond the Beltway

For Republicans in D.C., the Affordable Care Act is a black and white issue — you are either for it or against it. And they are all against it. But for many GOP legislators and candidates outside the Beltway, the politics of Obamacare is much more complicated.

In Oregon, state Rep. Jason Conger has been on the defensive for his votes to set up a state insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, as he seeks the GOP nomination in the U.S. Senate race.

According to The Oregonian, at least one of Conger’s opponents has attacked him for voting in favor of Cover Oregon, which had some well-publicized website difficulties. Of course, Conger didn’t let the charges go unanswered.

“Legislators don’t get to vote on federal law,” Conger responded in the article, saying that it wasn’t true his votes were the “equivalent of Obamacare.”

Conger isn’t the only candidate wrestling with the issue.

In Colorado, former state Rep. Amy Stephens is on the defensive for sponsoring the state health insurance exchange as she seeks the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.

“In the scenario of the lesser of two evils, this was the best choice,” Stephens told The Denver Post last fall about supporting Connect for Health Colorado. “I felt — and still do feel — Colorado knows how to do health care better than the federal government.”

In recent interview with the Rothenberg Political Report, it was very clear state Sen. Owen Hill plans to make Stephens’ vote a key point of distinction in their primary, which also includes Weld County District Attorney/2010 nominee Ken Buck. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Mark Udall.

The ACA and state insurance exchange dynamic is not limited to Senate races.

In West Virginia, some Democrats believe that Republican Evan Jenkins’ past support for some health care provisions that are similar to those in ACA and the more recent state insurance exchange make him a flawed messenger to attack Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II for supporting Obamacare.

Jenkins, who was a Democrat until this run for Congress, will likely use part of the explanation that Stephens will use — that giving the state more control is better than relying on the federal government. He is also in a different position than Conger and Stephens because he doesn’t face a competitive primary. And, in general, GOP strategists would likely welcome a general election debate over ACA in the 3rd District, where President Barack Obama is incredibly unpopular.

  • RRStubbs

    Great article on Jason Conger

    His voting record on Healthcare is on http://pacificfreedomfoundation.org/oregon-state-legislators-voted-healthcare/
    In 2011 he voted ‘Yes’ on SB 99.
    SB 99 Section 13 states:
    SECTION 13. Federal law compliance. (1) To the extent that there is any conflict between sections 1 to 11 and 13 to 23 of this 2011 Act and the Patient and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. P.L. 111-152, the federal law in effect on the date the Legislative Assembly enacts sections 1 to 11 and 13 to 23 of this 2011 Act controls.
    (2) In all cases where federally granted funds are involved and the applicable federal laws, rule and regulations conflict with any provision of sections 1 to 11 and 13 to 23 of this 2011 Act, or require additional conditions not required under state statute, the applicable federal requirement governs.
    The same language is repeated in the Community Care Organizations and the Oregon Health Authority only in those cases the language states that compliance is required for all Presidential Executive Orders and Directives bypassing the Congress of the United States.
    These statement are my personal comments protected by the First Amendment of the US Constituion. Pacific Freedom Foundation does not suppor or oppose any candidate, it only reports the facts a matter of public records.

  • Mr. Sequel

    In this YouTube video we have the Liar-in-Chief, Hussein Obama, claiming that he will magically stop the oceans from rising: http://youtu.be/_AvqORJpKxU?t=5m2s

  • Six Edits

    A brief overview of the current doctor shortages that will be made worse by Obamacare central planning: http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/10/12/why-hard-find-doctor/AZmAhh8DJowD63cIVF0vPO/story.html

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...