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GOP bumbling gives Obamacare some pr help


Obamacare has unexpected boosters: the politicians who hate Obamacare.

The more Washington Republicans have fought the unpopular Affordable Care Act, the more popular it has paradoxically become, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll last week.

The partial government shutdown — precipitated by the GOP over Obamacare — and the DC brinksmanship over the nation’s debt limit has started to damage Republicans much more than Democrats.

The Republican Party’s approval ratings now stand at historic lows, according to Gallup and the Journal/NBC polls.

“That is an ideological boomerang,” Bill McInturff, a GOP pollster who helped conduct the Journal/NBC survey with a Democratic pollster, told NBC.

“As the debate has been going on, if there is a break, there is a break against the Republican position.”

What’s more, by precipitating a partial government shutdown, opponents have given the Affordable Care Act even more precious public-relations help, drowning out major news coverage of the utter failure of Obamacare’s website.

But those stories and columns can’t compete with the volume of coverage over the effects of the shutdown and the failed Washington talks that surround it.

Because of the shutdown, Upper Keys fishermen can’t guide in much of Florida Bay, which is property of the closed Everglades National Park. Military death benefits were initially threatened along with the Head Start early-education program, Meals on Wheels and the nutrition program for poor women and kids called WIC.

Then there are the annoying effects of the shutdown: federal government websites that are essentially closed to anyone seeking basic government data.

That, too, could perversely give Obamacare a measure of p.r. cover. The Obamacare sign-up website has been a failure since it opened Oct. 1. But on that day, the shutdown began. It won’t be difficult for many people to surmise that a partial-government shutdown has broken Obamacare’s website — even though it’s not true.

So Washington Republicans will get the blame for ruining one part of Obamacare for which they have little culpability.

Column here

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