Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is one of the last people you’d expect to write an op-ed that advocates for a partial repeal of Obamacare — but she’s done just that.
As The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Brownfield reports, Warren opposes the medical device tax embedded in Obamacare on the basis that it will cripple medical device manufacturers in Massachusetts. The medical device industry employs 24,000 people and is responsible for 13 percent of exports in the state Warren hopes to win. What choice, really, does she have but to oppose the tax?
Unfortunately for the American people, the medical device tax isn’t the only tax Obamacare contains. In addition to the much-mentioned penalties on employers and individuals who fail to provide or obtain insurance, Obamacare imposes a hospital insurance tax on high-income earners (which will eventually hit middle-income earners, too, because it’s not indexed to inflation), an annual fee on health providers (apparently just for providing health coverage!), an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs and more.
Obamacare is the first entitlement program in U.S. history to prove unpopular with the American people — and it hasn’t gained in popularity in the two years since its passage. In fact, Democrats — as Warren’s bit criticism illustrates — have even begun to disapprove. At Townhall.com, Kevin Glass provides a rundown of other high-profile Dems who have criticized the law. Even Barney Frank is among that number.
Throughout the primaries, it was conventional wisdom to suggest that Mitt Romney would be unable to run on Obamacare because he is the only person in the country other than Obama to have signed an individual mandate to purchase health insurance into law. As the general election proceeds, though, it strikes me that Romney doesn’t have to cede the issue. Much to the chagrin of conservatives, Romney has never completely disavowed Romneycare — but he has repeatedly called for the repeal of Obamacare. That’s something you’ll never hear Barack Obama advocate. As more Democrats recognize the harmful provisions of PPACA, repeal becomes more probable because it might not depend entirely on a Republican sweep of the Senate, House and White House in 2012 to occur. If the appetite for repeal remains high and even increases among Democrats, Romney has an edge on Obama even on the Obamacare issue because he’ll be the only man in the race who would sign a repeal bill should it cross his desk as president.