GOP Goes Quiet On ObamaCare

House Republicans have no scheduled votes or hearings on ObamaCare, signaling a shift in the party’s strategy as the White House rides a wave of good news on the law.  

Not a single House committee has announced plans to attack the healthcare law in the coming weeks, and only one panel of jurisdiction commented to The Hill despite repeated inquiries. 

GOP campaign committees also declined to say whether they will launch any new efforts on the law.
 
The lack of action highlights the GOP’s struggle to adjust its message now that enrollment in the exchanges beat projections and the uninsured rate is going down. Insurers also report that 80 to 90 percent of new policyholders are paying their premiums, contradicting a frequent criticism from the GOP. 

This dynamic was laid bare last week as Republicans failed to land punches against the healthcare law in a hearing of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. In a rare display, Democrats began to control the message as witnesses from health insurance companies rebuffed several lines of GOP questioning. 

Republicans are conscious of the need to keep a drumbeat going against the law.The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a memo on Friday that said the law remained deeply unpopular and that “liberal media elites” touting the idea it was a success were beginning to influence beat reporters desperate for a new story.

The memo noted that Democratic candidates aren’t touting their support for the law, a sign of their uneasiness.

Republicans remain confident the reform won’t work, and that the party’s opposition to it will be rewarded in elections to come.

Hitting a new record, 55 percent disapproved of ObamaCare in the latest Pew poll, a finding that bolsters GOP confidence that the law’s unpopularity will help them in this year’s elections.

At the same time, Republican aides and strategists said the party is taking the opportunity to broaden its portfolio of issues ahead of November amid a changing landscape on healthcare

“They are now recognizing that they need to be more than a one-trick pony,” said Ford O'Connell, a veteran of Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign and chairman of CivicForumPAC. 

Read more from Elise Viebeck at The Hill

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