Elec­tion val­i­dates Af­ford­able Care Act

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE - By Noam N. Levey LOS AN­GE­LES TIMES

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-

Health on Page A6

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