Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid are getting ready to dust off the 2012 “War on Women” playbook and reuse it this election cycle. As a Republican woman, I say bring it on.
While Pelosi, Reid and their cronies try to scare women voters with overplayed “War on Women” propaganda, they are missing the big picture. Republicans aren’t at war with women, but recent studies indicate women are at war with Obamacare. A CNN/ORC International survey shows that 60 percent of women oppose the disastrous healthcare law.
In 2010, Republicans took back the House by historic margins largely because of Obamacare. A study in the journal American Politics Research showed that their support for the law cost incumbent Democrats 5.8 percentage points at the polls. Heading into the president’s second midterm election, which historically means significant losses for the party in the White House, Republicans are once again on solid ground. With history on our side and support for the healthcare law down with key demographics like millennials and women, Republicans are poised to make significant gains in the Senate this November.
It’s not surprising why the law is so unpopular, particularly with women. Eighty percent of women make the healthcare decisions for their families. By passing the Affordable Care Act, Democrats took that right away from them, and in many cases forced them to pay more for fewer options. Before Obamacare was passed, the majority of Americans were happy with their insurance plans. Now, as a result of the law, their plans have been cancelled or altered, premiums have skyrocketed, and businesses have cut workers’ hours and jobs.
Women have every right to be furious with the Democrats who voted for Obamacare. Examples of the law’s negative impact on women and their families are found everywhere in the country. The American Enterprise Institute highlights the rationing of care in Florida where there are “seven pediatricians for a county that serviced almost a quarter of a million children.” And many women, like Debra Fishericks from Virginia Beach, have lost the employer-sponsored care they had relied on, and are struggling to find a replacement plan that meets their needs. As reported by CBS-DC, Fishericks has cancer and is having trouble finding a plan she can afford on HealthCare.gov.
You don’t have to be a mother or a spouse to suffer under Obamacare. Time is running out for single women to either sign up for healthcare or pay a $95 fine. While $95 might not seem a lot to people now, in 2016 the fine could be increased to $695, or 2.5 percent of income. And the fines are nothing compared to the sticker shock of increased premiums. A comprehensive analysis from the Manhattan Institute recently found that in the average state, Obamacare is going to increase individual-market premiums by an estimated 41 percent.
If the implications of the healthcare law weren’t enough to turn away women voters, the lies Democrats have told them should. President Obama and Democrats across the country promised Americans countless times that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” This misstatement earned Democrats PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year,” and has put the individuals who repeated it in a tough spot politically. Many of them are U.S. Senators seeking reelection in states Mitt Romney won and where Obamacare is deeply unpopular.
As campaigning for the midterm elections ramps up, I have one message for Democrats: go for it. By reopening the “War on Women” playbook, Democrats are foolishly overlooking the big picture. Republicans are armed with examples of how Obamacare continues to fail women. Women voters are smart and we see through the Democrats’ divisive rhetoric, empty promises and failed economic policies.
Lisa Boothe is a Senior Director at the Black Rock Group and has worked as a Communications Director for Members of Congress and candidates.