Dems attack GOP on ObamaCare repeal

House Democrats' campaign arm targeted 60 House Republicans on Tuesday over their votes to repeal President Obama's signature healthcare law.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee charged that repealing the healthcare law would allow insurance companies to redirect premiums away from medical care and toward big bonuses for executives.

The offensive from House Democrats began as the whole party is stepping up its ObamaCare messaging ahead of the law's full implementation.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Americans want their premiums to go toward benefits, but Congressman Miller would rather go back to the dark days when insurance companies spent the hardworking California families’ money on bigger bonuses and higher administrative costs," the DCCC said in a release sent to Rep. Gary Miller's (R-Calif.) district.

Similar releases went to 59 other districts.

The DCCC's statement refers to an ObamaCare provision that governs how insurance companies spend the premiums they collect. At least 80 or 85 percent of premiums must be spent on medical care, leaving only the remaining 15 or 20 percent for administrative expenses and profit.

Companies that miss the threshold must pay a rebate to their consumers. Insurers paid out roughly $1.5 billion in rebates over the past two years, and the Obama administration says insurance plans also lowered their premiums by more than $3 billion to comply with the new rules.

“Instead of working to improve our healthcare system, Congressman Miller has repeatedly voted to give insurance companies free rein to make record profits and give big bonuses to their executives,” the DCCC charged.

President Obama has also touted the provision in his recent offensive on ObamaCare. It was the subject of a White House address earlier this summer at which the president was flanked by consumers who had received rebates.

Insurers strongly oppose the provision, arguing that it does nothing to control the actual underlying cost of healthcare services. 

Many Democrats have said they're worried about how ObamaCare will affect their chances in 2014, fearing a rocky rollout at the beginning of the year could keep alive an issue that has already dominated two election cycles. 

But others in the party say the law will help Democrats in 2014 because key benefits will finally be in place, and because Republicans have spent so much time fighting to repeal the law.