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Democrats Dissing ObamaCare

Wall Street Journal - May 1 By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch on Monday held their first and (likely) only debate in the run-up to next week's special election for the 1st congressional district in South Carolina. The media tittering over Mrs. Colbert Busch's decision to publicly slap the former Republican governor over his extramarital affair obscured the more notable political comment of the night. That moment came when Mrs. Colbert Busch slammed her own party's health-care law: "Obamacare is extremely problematic, it is expensive, it is a $500 billion [higher] cost than we originally anticipated, it's cutting into Medicare benefits and it's having companies lay off their employees because they are worried about the cost of it. That is extremely problematic, it needs an enormous fix." South Carolina's first district is a conservative place—it voted overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney in last year's election—so Mrs. Colbert Busch has every political reason to distance herself from her party and its health law. Yet she becomes one of the first Democrats to attempt to win an election on the back of criticism of her president's signature achievement. Even Democrats who cast themselves as "moderates" running in conservative states in the 2012 Senate election—like Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, or Joe Donnelly in Indiana—were careful to maintain a generalized support for ObamaCare. Mrs. Colbert Busch also joins a growing chorus of Democrats who are backing away from the law now that its enormous costs and implementation problems are becoming more obvious. Montana Democrat Max Baucus used a recent Senate hearing to worry that ObamaCare was looking to be a "train wreck." West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller pronounced that ObamaCare is "so complicated" that "if it isn't done right the first time, it will just simply get worse." The most recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll confirmed that the law has been plummeting in the public's opinion. Just 35% of Americans today view ObamaCare "favorably" or "somewhat favorably," down eight points since Election Day and its lowest level of support since it was passed. Mr. Sanford, who is struggling in the race given the focus on his past indiscretions, made a point of noting in the debate that while Mrs. Colbert Busch may claim to disavow ObamaCare, she was recently thrown a fundraiser by 37 Democrats who all "supported and voted for ObamaCare." And note, too, that Mrs. Colbert Busch did not go so far as to call for ObamaCare's repeal—simply an "enormous fix." The voters of South Carolina ought to be asking the Democratic candidate how she defines such a "fix."


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