Sorry Democrats, The Obamacare Tide Isn’t Turning

Democrats everywhere rejoice! Obamacare, which was once thought to be a political millstone around the collective necks of Democratic candidates, is no longer an issue. Or so the media would like you to believe. “Obamacare losing power as campaign weapon,” says a Bloomberg headlined. “Obamacare loses some of its campaign punch for Republicans,” says the LA Times. “Obamacare disappearing as major issue,” says the Washington Post. And most definitively, “GOP surrenders on Obamacare,” says Salon.

So what is causing the seeming jubilation? Well, not much. As it turns out, all of the stories focus on the rather innocuous result of a study conducted by a media monitoring firm, which found that the amount of money being spent on ads focused on Obamacare dipped in the spring. That’s it. That’s the sum total of the evidence.

But as some astute observers pointed out, given the breadth of evidence suggesting that voter antagonism for the law remains, there is more than one way to interpret the reduction in advertising.

“[D]espite the claims made in the above-noted outlets and many others, this development is actually bad news for the Democrats,” writes David Catron for The American Spectator. “Republican Senate candidates have been running fewer such ads of late because the sale has already been closed.”

Even if voters haven’t already made up their minds that Obamacare, by and large, is a bad law, then the recent rounds of negative news stories aren’t exactly helping matters for Democrats.

For instance, last week we received more evidence that Obamacare is causing employers to either reduce the size of their workforce or to shift to more part-time workers. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported the results of a survey which found that 18.2 percent of businesses in their district are cutting jobs, 18 percent are changing the composition of their workforce to include a higher proportion of part-time labor, and a whopping 88.2 percent of the business that modified their health plans as a result of Obamacare passed along those costs to employees.

And this week the Dallas Fed, which conducted a similar survey, came up with similarly disturbing results. They found that 48.6 percent of surveyed businesses said that Obamacare was raising health care costs for employees “a lot,” while another 35.1 percent said it was raising costs “a little.” Further, nearly one-fourth of businesses have cut jobs because of Obamacare and 16.5 use a higher percentage of part-timers. That marks the fourth Federal Reserve bank to outline the dramatic, negative impacts that Obamacare is having on businesses and their employees.

Even if you don’t work for one of the impacted businesses, it doesn’t mean you’re spared from the nefarious effects of Obamacare. Sally Pipes reports for Forbes:

Get ready to pay more for health insurance next year, compliments of Obamacare.

A new analysis from PricewaterhouseCoopers projects that average premiums for policies sold through Obamacare’s exchanges will increase 7.5 percent in 2015.

In nearly one-third of the 29 states that PwC investigated, premiums will rise by double digits. In Indiana, the average increase will be 15.4 percent. In Kansas, it’s 13.6 percent. Florida’s insurance commissioner says premiums are set to climb 13.2 percent.

For this latest round of premium shocks, consumers can thank Obamacare’s unwieldy mix of taxes, regulations, and mandates.

Those steep increases come on top of historic rate hikes last year. Defenders of the law will rightly point out that health insurance costs were on the rise well before Obamacare was passed into law. But double-digit increases in consecutive years was far from the norm, and more importantly, it was not what President Obama promised. After all, let’s not forget his oft-repeated pledge that premiums would fall for the average family by $2,500.

So yes, it’s entirely possible that Republican candidates are cutting back on advertising around this disaster of a law. But given that the law is publicly imploding on its own, why spend the money?