The Politics of Obamacare: How the Affordable Care Act is Playing in the Midterm Elections

In 2010, many political analysts and journalists cited the debate over, and enactment of, the Affordable Care Act (often called “Obamacare”) as one factor that helped spark the conservative Tea Party movement and the Republican takeover of the House in that year’s Midterm Elections. Four years later, the law’s major coverage provisions have taken effect, resulting in new health coverage for millions of Americans, but public opinion on the law remains deeply divided along partisan lines, with more viewing it negatively than positively.

At 9:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, Sept. 9, the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Cook Political Report held a joint briefing to explore how the Affordable Care Act is playing so far in this year’s Midterm Election campaigns and the potential for it to influence any outcomes. At the briefing, the Foundation released key findings from its latest tracking poll on the public’s views and knowledge about the Affordable Care Act, which will include a look at how voters see the upcoming Congressional elections. The briefing examined the national political landscape and trends as well as providing a closer look at the hotly contested Senate races in Iowa and North Carolina.

Participants included:

  • Drew Altman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher, The Cook Political Report
  • Mollyann Brodie, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Public Opinion and Survey Research, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Jim Morill, Political Writer, The Charlotte Observer
  • Kathie Obvadovich, Political Columnist, The Des Moines Register

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.