Did ObamaCare Cost Democrats the House?

A forthcoming paper in American Politics Research … found that, on average, “the vote share of Democrats who supported health care reform was 5.8 points lower than that of the most comparable Democrats who opposed the bill.”

If those Democrats had voted against the law – and flipped that 5.8 percent in the opposite direction – the party would have netted 25 more seats. And that would have been enough to keep the Democrats in a majority.

This is a Sarah Kliff post at the Ezra Klein blog.

Comments (5)

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  1. Noreen Raja says:

    I have been following your blog and I think this is a great post. It is clear that no matter how the Supreme Court decides Obamacare, we’re arguing over the wrong things. I admire your blog because you are not afraid to put the administration’s feet to the fire and question waffling or inconsistent stances on issues.

    The Supreme Court hears arguments later this month on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health-care law. This makes the coming weeks a good time to ask the question: does America even have a “health care system?”

    Dave Walker has created a three-minute video on health care and social insurance programs for CAI’s next “Myth of the Month.” Please consider sharing the video with your readers.

    Dave Walker is the former U.S. Comptroller General and CEO of the nonpartisan Comeback America Initiative. His new video lends an authoritative fiscal voice to this important national discussion.

    Mr. Walker’s video examines the following points:
    1. We neither have efficient nor effective system
    2. We practice sick care, not health care
    3. Our health care costs are out of control

    Myth of the Month is a new monthly video feature that takes a head-on look at myths about policy issues that impact the national deficit. Previous Myth videos have covered the State of the Union and the federal budget.

    Please check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/ComebackAmericaTV

    Dave Walker is traveling in Europe, but I can get you email quotes from him, or connect you with the research associates at the Comeback America Initiative. I look forward to hearing back from you!

  2. Bruce says:

    The answer to your question is “yes.”

  3. Buster says:

    I believe the Democrats were hoping the Health Reform Law would motivate more of the Faithful to get out and vote. They were also hoping that — over time — the landmark law would become as sacred as Social Security and Medicare. What Democrats did not expect is that the law would become so polarizing.

  4. Joey Donuts says:

    Don’t let your thinking on this issue get carried away by confirmation bias. I have not read the article that is yet to be published. I did read the Sarah Kliff post. I remain amazed at all the political studies of the 2010 elections and all the rationalizations of the outcome especially the repeated claims that the losers lost because of “Obama Care”. None of the studies I have seen and this one I suspect as well do not control for racial composition of voters in the districts of the losers. A large majority of these democratic losers were first timers riding in to office on the wave of a large black turnout in their districts because Obama was on the ticket. I suspect if controls for ethnicity of the voters were included in the study, one would find that as more explanatory of the loss than the congress person’s vote on Health care reform.

    I base some of my suspicion on an event in the 2008 election. Georgia requires a winning candidate to receive more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate meets this requirement a runoff is held between the top two vote getters. Saxby Chamblis, the incumbent senator, failed to get 50% of the vote. During the runoff He blew away the democratic challenger. Why, because Obama wasn’t in this contest and the black voters stayed home.

    Unfortunately, political correctness prevents many scholars from considering the ethnicity of the voters, but perhaps recognizing it may explain the results from 2010 better. It will also help people understand why so many of the democrats that lost in 2010 will turn into winners in 2012, unless of course the black community becomes disenchanted with Obama and doesn’t turn out in large numbers as they did in 2008.

    In closing, thank you for a wonderful blog!

  5. Brian says:

    This paper’s findings could be significant. It could be because many of the democrats who voted democrat in 2008 and supported government mandated healthcare realized how wrong their assumptions were. They assumed that government-required healthcare would make healthcare cheaper=and more accessible to all.
    But the truth got to some of them before 2010 as they learned that healthcare wouldn’t be cheaper and more accessible as a result of Obamacare, and that quality would be worse. However, 2008 being a Presidential election year could be a factor, though.

    This November, we’ll see how bad they want to keep this monstrosity called Obamacare.