DCCC memo: Dems on offense on O-Care

House Democrats believe the ObamaCare fight has shifted in their favor, and they’re now on offense on an issue that Republicans have worked to make a liability for the party on Election Day.

In a new memo obtained exclusively by The Hill, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Executive Director Kelly Ward outlines how Republicans’ “fixation on repealing the [Affordable Care Act] comes at their own peril in 2014, as the political landscape … has shifted in Democrats’ favor.”

“Democrats are now on offense over the Affordable Care Act, putting Republicans on their heels over the costs of their plan to repeal the law altogether,” Ward writes.

According to recent reports, Democrats are planning a major offensive effort on the law in the coming months, looking to highlight problems and offer fixes, as well as highlight the benefits that would be lost in case of repeal, to come out on top of the issue in time for the midterm elections.

Ward writes that polling shows the Democratic position to fix the law, rather than get rid of it outright, is on the right side of public opinion.

"Americans are rejecting Republicans' repeal agenda both nationally and in swing districts, where voters want to see the Affordable Care Act fixed and improved, not repealed," the memo reads in part.

The DCCC memo cites seven independent polls that found Americans would prefer the healthcare law be fixed, rather than replaced.

Republicans have voted nearly 50 times to repeal the law, but the push for repeal has diminished somewhat in recent months as some Republicans have started offering fixes to the law — likely, in part, because of that polling.

But Ward declares in the memo Republicans can’t shift their strategy on the law because the GOP is “beholden to their Tea Party base’s litmus test on repeal,” and because the party has such a long history of pushing for repeal.

And the DCCC is planning not just to fight the battle on ObamaCare to a draw, but rather hopes to turn it into a liability for Republicans.

The committee is releasing ads on how repeal would affect some entitlement programs and launching an online campaign seeking to personalize the effects of repeal in 57 districts.

Democrats also think attacking Republicans who have not expanded the Medicaid program will be fruitful. It was a divisive issue for Republicans, as GOP governors in nearly a dozen states either accepted the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare outright or worked with the administration to design an expansion that catered to their needs.

Still, Republicans have been on offense on the law for months now, believing persistent discontent and some initial negative effects — particularly dropped coverage for thousands of Americans — will help them expand their majority in the House. Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to regain the lower chamber, a tall order during a midterm year when the party in the White House historically loses seats.

One prominent conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, has already poured $30 million into races nationwide looking to make the law a liability for Democrats.

As Ward writes in the memo, however, Democrats believe those attacks will fall flat.

"Time and again, national Republicans have predicted they will gain a significant number of seats in 2014 because of their position on the Affordable Care Act," she writes. "As Democrats work to fix and improve the law, House Republicans will find their repeal position is anathema to 2014 voters, who won't choose representatives who will take us back to a broken health care system."

Read the full memo:

ACA Landscape Shift Memo

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