DENVER—Colorado Democrats marked the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s passage Sunday without comment, but not Republicans.
The GOP took advantage of the four-year mark to remind voters about the lower-than-expected enrollment figures, the cancelled policies, and the higher premiums associated with Obamacare’s launch.
“Today marks a grim anniversary. Four years ago, President Obama signed Obamacare into law,” said Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in a Sunday email. “We have seen the effects of this law in Colorado — with nearly 350,000 people losing their health insurance plans and thousands more losing their doctors.”
The Colorado figures are actually a little worse than that. The state Division of Insurance released numbers last week at the request of Colorado Senate Republicans showing that 337,241 residents have had their policies cancelled.
Meanwhile, nationally renowned statistics whiz Nate Silver released projections Sunday indicating that Republicans now have a roughly 60 percent chance of capturing the U.S. Senate, which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich chalked up to the uproar over the dismal Obamacare rollout.
“It cost the Democrats the House in 2010, it will cost them the Senate in 2014, it will probably cost them the presidency in 2016,” said Gingrich on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Figures crunched by Silver, who runs the FiveThirtyEight website, gave Republicans the edge in capturing the six seat needed to win a majority in the Senate. That’s a shift in the GOP’s favor from July, when he described the race for Senate control as a toss-up.
The Colorado Senate race has also become much tighter, according to Silver’s projections. In July, FiveThirtyEight gave Democratic Sen. Mark Udall an 85 percent chance of winning reelection.
The website’s latest figures give Udall a 60 percent chance of keeping his seat and Republicans a 40 percent chance of upending the first-term senator.
Colorado Republicans appear determined to build on that momentum by reminding voters at every turn about the deeply unpopular federal health-care law.
The Colorado Republican Party posted Sunday on Twitter a photo of Udall beneath the caption, “Mark Udall (Heart) Obamacare.”
In a fundraising letter, Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton informed supporters that his likely Democratic opponent, former Rep. Betsy Markey, “was one of the deciding votes to pass the government takeover of our healthcare system, Obamacare.”
In his email, Coffman asked backers to give $40—or $10 for each year since President Obama signed the ACA into law—“for every person who lost their insurance plan when they were told they could keep it.”
The Colorado Senate Republicans sent out an email update asking residents to tell them about their Obamacare woes.
“Have you had your insurance policy cancelled due to Obamacare? Are your premiums skyrocketing? Is there anything Senate Republicans can do to help?” said the request.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was one of the few Democrats to defend Obamacare, saying Thursday that the law would benefit Democratic candidates in November and calling it a “winner.” But Gingrich disagreed.
“I don’t know of a single senator in a tough reelection race who’s running around saying, ‘Nancy Pelosi’s right,’” said Gingrich. “All of them are finding some excuse to explain why they would change Obamacare in some form or another. I think that’s going to increase, not decrease.”