- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 7, 2017

Liberals are betting that Trumpcare will be as devastating at the ballot box for Republicans as Obamacare was for Democrats, but Reince Priebus said he wouldn’t count on it.

“I think the Republican Party will be rewarded,” said Mr. Priebus, the White House chief of staff, on “Fox News Sunday.”

Democrats have reason for optimism: The Cook Political Report moved 20 House race ratings in the party’s direction Friday after the passage of the American Health Care Act, which repeals and replaces Obamacare.

Save My Care, a pro-Obamacare advocacy group, has targeted 24 House Republicans in a six-figure ad buy over their support for the AHCA, which passed Thursday with no Democratic votes.

The ad blasts Republicans in potentially tight 2018 races for voting for “a disastrous health-care repeal bill,” but doesn’t mention the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, by name.

Mr. Priebus said he wasn’t concerned, pointing to the political establishment’s shaky track record when it comes to forecasting events involving President Trump.

“These are the same people that said Donald Trump wasn’t going to run and he ran, he wasn’t going to win the primary and he won the primary,” Mr. Priebus said. “Donald Trump couldn’t win the general, he won the general. He couldn’t get health-care repeal-and-replace through the House, he got it through the House.”

Mr. Priebus predicted that people would support Republicans after experiencing the benefits of the new health-care system.

“We believe this is going to be a better product,” Mr. Priebus said. “And by the time the people see that premiums are lower, it’s a better service, there are more options and more choices, they’re going to reward Republicans that stood up and said, ‘We’re not going to see the Obamacare system, which is failing and collapsing, continue any longer.’”

House Democrats made it clear they believe Republicans would pay a political price for the bill by singing, “Hey, hey, goodbye,” after the Thursday floor vote.

Still, the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman warned that Democrats may want to resist the urge to tie the health-care plan to Mr. Trump, as Republicans did by dubbing the ACA “Obamacare.”

“The irony is that Democrats’ temptation to refer to the GOP’s bill ‘Trumpcare’ may actually raise the popularity of the legislation,” Mr. Wasserman said. “Trump’s job approval, though low, is still almost double the public support for repealing and replacing some of the ACA’s most popular provisions.”

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