Republicans prepare to celebrate Obamacare anniversary

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama has not announced a Friday birthday bash for Obamacare, his biggest legislative achievement.

So GOP activists are just going to bash it anyway, before Friday, on Friday and after Friday, and all the way to November.

The Republicans’ will get much public applause because a new poll shows that 49 percent of Americans expect the law to be struck down by a Supreme Court review that begins the week after the law’s second birthday.

Only 29 percent of Americans — basically, the Democratic Party’s base — believes the bill will survive the court’s quasi-death panel, according to a mid-March poll of 1,000 likely voters by The Hill newspaper.

The unpopular, expensive and controversial health care takeover is getting little love from the swing-voting public, which likes some of its goodies but is deeply skeptical of the vast, complex, opaque and expensive panjandrum.

Obamacare “may prove to be the single biggest contributor to his defeat in November,” according to a March 18 memo by Rick Wiley, the political director at the Republican National Committee, which is preparing to mark the second anniversary this Friday.

“Fully half of registered voters view Obamacare as a ‘bad thing’ … [and] only 22 percent thinking their health care situation will improve,” Wiley wrote in the memo, titled “Happy Birthday, Obamacare.” (RELATED: Full coverage of the health care law)

“The problem is even more acute for the president in swing states, with 53 percent of voters calling his health care reform a ‘bad thing’ and only 20 percent saying the law will make their family’s health care situation better. … 49 percent of voters say the health care law has, as of today ‘significantly increased the price of health insurance,’” he said.

Other RNC officials piled on, including research chief Joe Pounder and spokesman Sean Spicer.

Even Democrats are nervous.

Administration officials are quiet, Democratic legislators are coy, and online partisans, including political consultant Paul Begala and Democratic National Committee chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz, aren’t defending the law.

“It was clearly a liability in the last election in terms of the public’s fear,” Rep. Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, said on March 9.

That confession came shortly after a new academic study concluded that the the Democrats’ support for the big-government bill had cost them 25 seats, and likely control of the House.

Obama defends the law in fundraisers — “You want to call it Obamacare, that’s okay, because I do care,” he declared at a March. 16 Atlanta fundraiser — and so does first lady Michelle Obama.

But these days, Obama is using his Air Force One trips and weekend speeches to tout his unpopular energy policy, not his unpopular medical-takeover. (RELATED: Obama burns jet fuel to downplay gasoline prices)

The Democrats’ myriad professional groups have rallied around the law, claiming various benefits — such as more adults being allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance, more retirees being able to buy drugs without paying extra, more women getting zero-cost birth control pills and drugs that a major European study shows can accomplish early-term abortions.

The law has other benefits for the Democratic coalition, including a huge influx of new government employees, much greater government control over the GOP-friendly doctors profession, and a myriad opportunities to expand government authority over death, life, sex, fitness, food and much else that is related to health.

Regardless of the cheering or jeering this Friday, the law will face a live-or-die review by the Supreme Court starting next week.

The decision will be delivered by the court before the law turns three years old.

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Neil Munro