It is time to reap what we sowed: The health care overhaul, a dream of liberal Democrats for decades, said to represent ideological overreach.
The health care overhaul, a dream of liberal Democrats for decades, has been used by political opponents to build a case that Mr. Obama is guilty of ideological overreach. After hard-fought passage of the sweeping law, White House officials expressed confidence that voters would become more supportive once the fury of the legislative debate faded and Americans more clearly assessed the tangible benefits.
Yet despite a White House campaign to promote the law’s most popular components before the midterm elections, recent polls suggest that national support is at best stagnant, in the range of 40 percent, and may be declining after early signs of improvement.
The Democratic playbook in those districts has been to focus attention elsewhere, while defending the law when challenged. Although it is early in the advertising season, the only Democratic House incumbents who have used television to extol their positions on health care are among the 34 who voted against the bill, according to Democratic campaign officials.
Even some Democrats running for state offices, who do not have votes to defend, are distancing themselves from their party’s signature domestic achievement. In Georgia, for instance, former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat seeking to regain the job he lost eight years ago, told The Associated Press this week that he considered the law “to be the greatest failure, modern failure, of political leadership in my lifetime.” It could be “financially devastating” to the state, he warned.