It occurs to me that congressional Republicans’ attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act flies directly against the prevailing political winds that blew fairly strongly nearly a year ago.
That was when President Barack Obama won re-election to a second term in the White House after fending off a relentless campaign against the ACA by the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney.
Thus, the ACA was on the ballot in 2012. It arguably was Romney’s signature issue in his campaign against the president.
How did it turn out?
* Barack Obama won re-election with 332 electoral votes; Romney captured 206.
* Obama’s popular vote totaled 65,915,257 votes; Romney garnered 60,932,235 votes. That’s a margin of nearly 5 million ballots.
* The president failed to carry only two states that he won in 2008, North Carolina and Indiana. The rest of them remained in his camp.
I’ll certainly concede that the president’s electoral vote margin and his popular vote margin both were less than when he was elected to his first term in 2008. For that I blame the economy, which was in free fall when Obama took office and didn’t turn around quickly enough to suit many Americans. It has turned, though, thanks in part to some aggressive efforts from the Obama economics team to jump-start it.
All of this occurred after Romney kept pledging to repeal the ACA on his first day in office. Didn’t the former Massachusetts governor say he’d issue an executive order suspending “Obamacare” right after he took office this past January? Didn’t he make that firm pledge repeatedly along the campaign trail?
Well, it didn’t work out for him.
Yes, some have said Romney wasn’t the best messenger to deliver that pledge for Republicans, given that he signed a similar law that guaranteed health insurance for residents of the state he governed.
The larger point, however, is that American voters had a chance to send the president packing this past November but chose to keep him on the job. His legislative accomplishment remains the Affordable Care Act and the voters, with their ballots, have affirmed a law that is just about to take effect.