PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With a legal victory in hand, President Obama hopes debate over Obamacare will end.
“The highest court of the land has now spoken,” President Obama told the nation shortly after the Supreme Court decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act.
“We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve it where we can,” he said. “What we won’t do, what the country can’t afford to do, is refight the battle of two years ago or go back to the way things were.”
But that’s exactly the battle expected in Campaign 2012, as Republican Mitt Romney made clear.
“What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States,” he said. “And that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare.”
The presidential race will give voters a chance to render their own verdict, and don’t expect local Congressional campaigns to ignore this issue.
Republican Keith Rothfus, a Congressional candidate in the 4th district against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, a Democrat, was blunt in an interview with KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
Delano: “Is it now over?”
Rothfus: “No, sir. It’s back to the political realm.”
Rothfus says he’ll vote to repeal Obamacare while he says his opponent won’t do that.
“My opponent Mark Critz has voted more than 20 times to keep Obamacare and various aspects of it in place.”
“Democrats want to spend money and Republicans want to cater to special interests,” says Democrat Larry Maggi, a Congressional candidate in the 18th district against incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, a Republican.
Maggi opposes parts of Obamacare, but criticizes Murphy for wanting to repeal everything.
“That health care has some real problems, but it’s got some good stuff and we need to make it affordable and make it good for middle class people who are crying out for a good health care system,” says Maggi.
Now, both Congressmen Murphy and Critz reject these characterizations by their opponents.
But the key point is that – even though the legal battle is over – the political battle over Obamacare lives on.
And you don’t have to be on the ballot this year to use it.
Gov. Tom Corbett just emailed a campaign fundraising pitch asking supporters to donate so he can continue to fight the President’s health reforms.