Take All the Potshots You Want: Obamacare Is Working [UPDATED]
With more than 6 million people enrolled, the president’s much-talked-about health legislation has hit the bull's-eye for the number of Americans the administration wanted to sign up. Yet, one Republican has taken it upon himself to shoot down Obamacare, literally.
Will Brooke wants to be the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives race in Alabama's 6th District, and he released a video campaign ad Wednesday titled "Let’s Do Some Damage." Rather than make specific arguments—or say much of anything, really—Brooke clearly is hoping to ride the coattails of Obamacare-bashing all the way to Washington.
The health care plan that passed without Republican support in 2010 is a known enemy of conservative politicos—making it a useful campaign tool. Despite the notoriously botched launch, Obamacare is experiencing a wave of productivity just days before open enrollment closes.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner reported promising numbers in a blog post, saying there were more than 430,000 calls and 1.5 million visits to HealthCare.gov on Wednesday alone. It only took 10 days to go from 5 million enrollees to 6 million.
Still, whether or not the site is clearly in hot demand, there's always something to poke at with Obamacare. And it is polling dismally despite any demonstrated utility—making it hot fodder for campaigns.
“Canceling millions of policies, then bragging when they sign up for another one, is a little odd, don’t you think?” Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted.
As if there’s nothing "a little odd" about showing off your collection of firearms while doing target practice on the voluminous Affordable Care Act.
The current number of enrollments has exceeded initial expectations but is still shy of the original goal of 7 million recipients that the administration announced last summer. One million people have signed up from California alone.
It's not too late to sign up before the Monday deadline to avoid the federal tax penalty. The Obamacare facts site breaks down the costs of remaining uninsured:
2014 = $95 per person per year or 1 percent of your Income
2015 = $325 per person per year or 2 percent of your Income
2016 = $695 per person per year or 2.5 percent of your Income
2017 = Tax Penalty will increase by the rate of inflation going forward, or 2.5 percent of your Income
Brooke is apparently not the only politician who has taken a shot at a policy issue. In 2010, Senator Joe Manchin, D–W.Va., used his rifle to take aim at an environmental bill in a campaign ad.
Updated March 31, 2014—4:55 p.m.
Procrastinating Americans who tried to sign up for Obamacare on the last day of the six-month enrollment window encountered glitches. That led the administration to extend the 11:59 p.m. Monday deadline for an unspecified period to allow people to sign up.