Ongoing troubles with Obama's health law give GOP a much-needed boost

By Charles Babington

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Nov. 10 2013 12:31 p.m. MST

Several of the Democratic senators cited the program's malfunction website when they urged Obama to extend the enrollment deadline for people to sign up for health insurance.

Republicans must pick up six Senate seats next year to gain control for the first time in eight years. If they prevent Democrats from gaining 17 net House seats, they will sustain the GOP House majority they won in 2010.

Dayspring said the law's problems will help his party combat Democrats' claim that Republicans are engaged in a "war on women" on matters such as access to contraceptives. His campaign committee is targeting Hagan, Landrieu and other female Democrats with messages saying "Obamacare could hurt hundreds of thousands of women," yet these Democratic lawmakers stand by the law.

Landrieu was among the first Democrats to propose legislation to let people keep their current health insurance policies even if they don't cover newly required areas such as hospitalization, laboratory services and prenatal care.

Landrieu said Louisiana voters won't buy the GOP's new attack lines against her and other Democratic women.

"If the Republican Party does not stop talking about a bill that is already passed, signed into law" and promising "that middle-class Americans and small businesses can for the first time get private insurance that they can afford and that they can count on, they will rue the day," she said.

Republicans also are making the "Obamacare"-hurts-women argument in New Hampshire, where Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen faces re-election next year. Shaheen calls the claims absurd.

The Republican Party's basic position on health care, Shaheen said, "opposes contraceptives for women and is unwilling to provide access to abortion even in cases of rape and incest."

Now, she said, Republicans want people to believe "that the great new preventive coverage that women are going to get under the new health care law is somehow not going to be good for women and families."

"It's like being called ugly by a frog," Shaheen said.

Follow Charles Babington on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbabington

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