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Politics

Fierce Support of Obamacare Will Harm Democrats More than Help Them

June 4, 2013 - 6:00pm

National Democrats plan to defend President Barack Obamas federal health-care law as a matter of concerted party strategy in 2014, but they might as well know: Florida Republicans will welcome it.

Reports surfaced on Tuesday that Democrats across the nation are increasingly going to bat for the health-care law, which remains controversial three years after it was first passed.

In fact, the law is still widely unpopular, and according to a poll released earlier this week, its opponents are more fired up than its defenders.

Rasmussen Reports unveiled a poll Monday which finds 54 percent of those surveyed have an unfavorable view of the law while only 41 percent of them see it in a favorable light. Only 15 percent see the law as very favorable, while 40 percent -- almost as many who see it as favorable -- view it as very unfavorable. The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken from May 31-June 1 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Certainly, Republicans in Florida continue to push against the federal health-care law. Responding to a constituent survey on immigration on Monday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took a whack at the federal health-care law, ripping into it as a government subsidy.

Obamacare is an impediment to hiring, Rubio said. The fact of the matter is that Obamacare will keep people from being hired.

Nor is Rubio alone in going after the health care law. Over the last weekend, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., took to Twitter to mock House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for her management of the health care law in 2010.

In the meantime, Florida Democrats are increasingly defending the law. Take Gwen Graham, daughter of Florida political legend Bob Graham, who is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Florida Congressman Steve Southerland.

With Democrats across the state and country having high hopes for Gwen Graham, trying as she is to run as a moderate in this North Florida race, she has received some national media attention, including an interview last week with Roll Call.

Asked if she would support repealing the federal health-care law, Graham said no and insisted she would work to make the law better.

I dont think thats going to happen, Graham said before bashing Southerland for standing against it. I think that Congressman Southerland has been focused on repealing Obamacare. It is the law now, and I think this is what people are tired of, of the partisan bickering. My focus will be on working to improve the law for the people of the Second Congressional District. And there will be modifications that will need to be made and thats what my focus will be.

As even Democrats like Graham, who are trying to present themselves as moderates, double down on their support of the federal health care, Republicans will be looking to make the still unpopular law an issue in 2014.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News.

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