SCOTUS Health Care Opinion May Impact McCaskill’s Campaign

Roll Call from

An important list you won’t find buried in the reams of legalese under review by the Supreme Court today: Members of Congress whose vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cost them their job.
A Roll Call report says Missouri Senator Claire Mccaskill’s re-election bid could be one of the Senates races affected by the case.
About two-thirds of Democratic Members who lost in November 2010 voted for the law. This year, Republicans hope they can continue to tie vulnerable incumbents in tossup states and districts to their vote for the unpopular legislation, which would cut about $500 billion from future Medicare spending.

Claire McCaskill (D) Vs. Todd Akin (R), John Brunner (R) or Sarah Steelman (R)
Not long before McCaskill voted to finalize Obama’s health care bill into law, she criticized what she called the “Chicken Little” component of Congress.
“We have had a lot of Chicken Little around this building over the last few months: ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling,’” she said in March 2010 on the Senate floor, noting that the sky didn’t fall.
“As time goes on, people in America are going to realize this bill is not full of booby traps, it is full of good things that will reform health care.”
Republicans hope that with that vote — and the one that made her the 60th vote for cloture on the Affordable Care Act — McCaskill ensured that the political sky will indeed fall on her this November. And the GOP and its allies will make sure, in a race that already would have been very close, voters know McCaskill was a strong supporter of the deeply unpopular law.
In the summer of 2010, 71 percent of almost
1 million Missouri voters supported Proposition C, which amended the state’s law to prohibit an individual mandate, the key part of the health care law that requires that people get health insurance or pay a fee. While the vote was ceremonial in nature — federal law trumps state law — it showed wide opposition to the law that McCaskill voted in favor of.
She’ll face the winner of a GOP contest between Rep. Todd Akin, businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. And the victor is sure to hit her on Obamacare.
“When you’re talking about health care, it’s the government takeover and it’s the lack of real impact, especially on costs,” said Randall Gutermuth, a GOP pollster working with Brunner. He noted the latter attack could be particularly potent against McCaskill, who had said a primary reason she supported the bill was to bring down health care costs.
“It’s that she supported this massive government takeover of health care while, at the same time, voting to cut $500 billion from Medicare,” he said.
Akin said that he wasn’t sure health care would be the center of the GOP nominee’s attack against McCaskill but saw it as one place where “she is vulnerable.”
“I think it was very, very bad policy, but it’s also bad politics for Claire McCaskill to double down and support it,” he said.
Democrats pushed back.
“The bigger issue in this race will be Brunner, Akin and Steelman’s desire to slash Medicare, cut benefits and make seniors pay more,” said Matt Canter, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “These candidates will also have to explain to Missouri voters why they want to create new loopholes for insurance companies to discriminate against pregnant women and kick 25-year-olds off their insurance.”
Akin was a strong and vocal supporter of last year’s Ryan budget and supports this year’s version as well. Both change the Medicare program in a substantial way that Democrats will frame as “ending Medicare as we know it.”
In a contest that could come down to a few thousand votes, the debate over the health care law — and the Ryan budget — could decide the winner.


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