Could affordable health care be a winning issue in NY-23?

reed ithacaCongressman Tom Reed voted this evening in favor of repealing the “Obamacare” health care reform law which was passed in 2010. “The people spoke last November,” Reed explained. “The message I heard loud and clear was that they wanted this 2500 page monstrosity repealed.”–Tom Reed, January 20, 2011

Perhaps many more object to loosing current health care benefits than supported ACA from the start. The above quote makes clear that Tom Reed counted on Obamacare being unpopular. I remember Reed running strongly against ACA every time, but I had to check the views of his opponents: Nate Shinagawa, Martha Robertson, and John Plumb.

The ACA is …beneficial to families and actually helps small businesses.  Under the Affordable Care act, businesses with more than 50 workers would be required to provide insurance, but would also be eligible for tax credits and assistance.

“This bill helps patients, it makes health care affordable, it protects people from health insurance and their whims, now you get coverage for pre-existing conditions,” comments Shinagawa.  “You have young people up to the age of 26 [on their parent’s insurance]. This bill helps families.” —Nate Shinagawa, July 3, 2012,  in WENY news

Robertson: Criticized Reed for being a medical debt collector and cited medical bills as number one cause of personal bankruptcy; ACA not perfect but can be reformed; told an anecdote about a friend named Phil who, without Obamacare, would have gone bankrupt; criticized Reed for voting 50 times to repeal Obamacare, 50 times to “bankrupt Phil” — Casey Breznick, October 24, 2014, Cornell Review

Plumb said that while there were issues with the Affordable Care Act, such as the way in which it can discourage small businesses to grow past a certain size, but felt that the law should be improved instead of scrapped. — Ithaca Voice, November 3, 2016

These articles may not do justice to the candidates views. However, Nate was perhaps the most forthright in his support for ACA; the other two less so. All seemed to realize the health care issue might be dangerous for them.

Have things changed? Could a Democrat run in open support of ACA today, expecting that to be a plus. One might easily be fooled by the current outrage against ACHA:

  • Angry people may represent a minority who depend on ACA benefits and know it
  • Angry people may not be among those who have voted for Tom Reed.
  • Angry people may not have bothered to vote.
  • There may be a “silent majority” who are indifferent to the health care debate, and who vote Republican.

On the other hand, there may be a silent majority who want to keep current benefits.

The views of Democrats are divided between those who support ACA and are satisfied with it, and those who favor “Medicare for all.” Can a Democrat appeal to both groups and yet attract tens of thousands of Republicans and Independents to the cause?

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in Congress, Health Care, Legislation, Political, Reed's Views. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Could affordable health care be a winning issue in NY-23?

  1. pystew says:

    Excellent, timely article. With a year and a half before the next congressional race anything can happen. If the Senate passes their new Health Care bill, it goes back to the House. The longer it takes to Repeal and Replace it–or give up trying–the more time we have to focus on it. Isn’t this just the first of three parts of the Health Care process? The AHCA isn’t the only thing that is energizing the Activists. Sometime Trump and his Comrades need to work on Tax Reform. Don’t forget about Korea, ISIS, and the Wall. We still have the Russian Connection to deal with. There’s a lot to keep us energized. I remember sitting in Town Hall meetings with less than a dozen other constituents. I don’t think that will happen soon.


  2. whungerford says:

    Thank you Rich. I believe AHCA, tax reform, and a potential government shutdown are tied together in that the GOP intends to use the reconciliation rule to pass them with 50 votes. Unless there is another continuing resolution, this must be done by September. Also, with tax cuts, there will sooner or later be a need to raise the debt ceiling. Doubtless the GOP will need votes from Democrats for that. Yes, these are interesting times.


  3. Barbara Crumb says:

    Indeed a wonderful letter.As I see now, it will be wise to continue to oppose Trumpcare to keep up the energy that resulted from the House’s approval of Trumpcare. The mid-terms are 18 months away, and we want to keep our supporters charged up.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.