Republicans have grown increasingly convinced that even after it is implemented the Affordable Care Act will remain a successful political weapon for them. Speaker John Boehner has scheduled a vote this week on the employer and individual mandates to try to embarrass House Democrats. On Meet the Press Senate Minority Leader called it the premiere issue of the next election. From MTP:
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, of course it’s the law of the land. And I wonder why the president himself is delaying various parts of it. He, you could argue, is not executing or implementing the law that he thinks is such a wonderful thing for the country. Look, this is a big, controversial issue. It’s not going away. It’s, in all likelihood, going to be the premiere issue in the 2014 election. The American people dislike it even more now than they did when it was passed. And they hope that the Congress will respond to their desire to stop this train wreck before it happens.
Not only are Congressional Republicans going to try to make Obamacare a big issue in the federal elections, but thanks to the Supreme Court decision on the Medicaid expansion it is assured to also be a significant issue in state elections.
The issue of whether or not to expand Medicaid should play a significant role in several gubernatorial and state legislature races. It could also even go directly before the people in several states thanks to initiative campaigns. In Montana a group of liberals are planning to put an initiative to take part in the Medicaid expansion on the 2014 ballot while in Arizona a group of conservatives are gathering signatures for a referendum to block their state’s new Medicaid expansion law.