Election validates Affordable Care Act
Voters nationwide punished Republicans opposed to key protections
WASHINGTON – A decade after President Barack Obama took office pledging to extend health care protections to all Americans and setting off an unprecedented partisan battle, the fight is effectively over.
Years from now, the 2018 midterm election is likely to be recognized as the moment that cemented the Affordable Care Act’s position alongside other pillars of the American health care system, such as Medicare.
Most immediately, the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives precludes any new Republican campaign to repeal the law, at least for another two years.
More profoundly, these elections revealed the depth of public support – in red states and blue – for core parts of the 2010 law, often called Obamacare. And they offered a sharp warning to politicians who threaten the law’s protections.
Voters in deeply conservative states, including Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, strongly backed ballot measures to expand Medicaid and extend government health coverage to their poorest neighbors, an option made possible by the law.
At the same time, Republican candidates across the country, facing withering attacks from their Democratic opponents, went out of their way to insist they would champion safeguards for Americans with pre-existing medical con-
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