Yesterday, I highlighted a recent article in the National Review that took Republicans to task for not doing their part in pushing Democrats on Obamacare.
The key passage:
Republicans ought to be seizing on each revelation to press the case for repealing Obamacare. It is, after all, the worst law the Democrats have enacted on Obama’s watch; and it is also the GOP’s best issue in this year’s elections. Instead Republicans have largely allowed the Democrats to switch the subject from their unpopular health-care legislation to financial regulation, oil spills, and immigration. They have been reacting to the news instead of trying to make it.
Well, it turns out Republicans have been working their tails off to keep Obamcare in the news. The challenge? Getting the media to actually talk about what they’re doing.
The fact is Obamacare is no longer a sexy issue to reporters. Why? Because there isn’t anything particularly newsworthy going on with the new law. There are some blips here and there about how deadlines or implementation keep getting missed, but to a reporter that’s a minor story.
Unfortunately, the GOP can scream0 ’til they are blue in the face, but that won’t make the media cover what they’re doing.
So what are they doing?
Minority Leader Boehner’s office has put together a pretty intensive list that should appease the harshest of conservative critics.
April 14: Republicans forced Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) to cancel a hearing he had scheduled to intimidate businesses into keeping quiet about the impact that the new job-killing health care law was already having on our economy.
April 23: Republicans pounced on a new report from Richard Foster, chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, about his report confirming ObamaCare will increase health care costs.
April 28: Republicans on the Education & Labor, Energy & Commerce, and Ways & Means Committees called for public hearings and testimony from Foster about his report on increased health care costs because of ObamaCare.
May 6: Energy & Commerce Committee Republicans highlighted news that American employers have considered dropping health care coverage for their employees because of ObamaCare.
May 11: Boehner brought national attention to the plight of White Castle, which estimated ObamaCare would hurt its ability to create jobs, particularly in low-income areas. The Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute and others highlighted the story.
May 13: Leader Boehner wrote a letter responding to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ “progress report” on the law, noting that it “made no mention of the stream of private-sector job creators nationwide, small and large, who in the days since the law was enacted have announced they will be forced to cut back on hiring, expansion, employee benefits and other priorities for working families as a result of the law’s hostile mandates and penalties.”
May 14: House Republicans – including House Small Business Committee Ranking Republican Sam Graves (R-MO) – highlighted news that the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) is joining the growing state legal revolt against ObamaCare.
May 17: Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), an orthopedic surgeon, joined with other Republican colleagues to launch Second Opinion, an effort to sound the alarm about the harmful consequences ObamaCare is having on the American people.
May 20: Boehner and other House Republicans joined small business operators from outside the Beltway for a press conference to discuss the destructive effect President Obama’s new health care law is having on their ability to create new jobs for Americans who are out of work.
May 20: Ways & Means Committee Republicans sent a letter to Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) requesting a hearing on the recently released non-partisan Congressional Budget Office analysis of ObamaCare that predicted that federal health spending could increase by $115 billion or more over 10 years.
May 24: Ways & Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Wally Herger (R-CA) questioned a new Health and Human Services mailing to Medicare enrollees, noting the document is highly misleading and a potential abuse of taxpayer funds.
May 25: House Republicans unveiled America Speaking Out, an unprecedented initiative to engage the American people on health care and other issues to give them a voice in crafting a new governing agenda for Congress.
May 26: Camp and Herger sent a letter to the HHS Secretary and a letter to the GAO outlining their concerns that the HHS mailer violates propaganda distribution regulations.
May 27: Key Senators (including Sens. McConnell, Kyl, Alexander, Enzi, Thune, Grassley, Coburn and Barrasso) sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius identifying numerous inaccuracies and requesting information about the development and review process for its propaganda mailer.
May 27: The House GOP Health Care Solutions Group, chaired by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), held a forum on the “true cost” of the health care law to families and small businesses.
May 27: Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), along with House Republican leaders and Ranking Members, introduced the Reform Americans Can Afford Act, legislation that would repeal ObamaCare and replace it with common-sense solutions that focus on lowering health care costs and protecting American jobs.
May 28: Education & Labor Republicans draw attention to CBO presentation from Director Elmendorf which states: “Rising health costs will put tremendous pressure on the federal budget during the next few decades and beyond. In CBO’s judgment, the health legislation enacted earlier this year does not substantially diminish that pressure.”
June 2: Energy & Commerce Committee Republicans sent a letter to President Obama asking him how they can keep employers from dropping coverage.
Does the lack of coverage mean Obamacare won’t be an issue in the fall? Of course not. After all, the majority of Americans still oppose the law. It’s still clearly an issue that will resonate with voters. Fortunately, paid media will more than make up for the lack of earned media coverage this summer.