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By CNN's Wolf Blitzer
(CNN) – President Obama’s campaign has released a powerful new 60-second ad touting his accomplishments since taking office. It points specifically to the U.S. auto industry coming back, the killing of Osama bin Laden, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and the improving U.S. economy. “Instead of losing jobs,” the announcer on the ad says, “we’re creating them – over 4.2 million so far.”
Those are all good points.
But in that ad, the Obama-Biden campaign once again failed to mention what is arguably the administration’s No. 1 legislative achievement over the past three-and-a-half years: the health care reform law.
I also noticed that the president really didn’t spend much time praising his health care achievement in his two lengthy campaign speeches on Saturday in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia. There were some very brief passing references, including the law’s allowing 2.5 million young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans and denying insurance companies the right to have “unchecked power to cancel your policy or deny you coverage or charge women differently from men.”
Those, too, are certainly good points.
But what I didn’t hear was a robust statement taking credit for pushing the Affordable Health Care Act through Congress.
Maybe that’s because polls have shown that the health care law is not all that popular. Most on the right don’t like the federal mandates requiring everyone to purchase health insurance if they can afford the premiums. Others, on the left, don’t believe that the law goes far enough; they would have preferred a government-sponsored single-payer option along the lines of what Canada has.
But if the president is truly proud of his legislative achievement, why isn’t he singing its praises loudly and clearly?
One reason may be the U.S. Supreme Court. It is supposed to decide next month whether the health care law’s mandates are in fact constitutional. Many court watchers believe the justices will rule against the president, based on what they heard during the oral arguments. That would certainly be embarrassing.
Based on history, I know those question-and-answer sessions can be misleading, and I’m not ready to make a prediction.
Having said that, I still wonder why the president and his top aides have not been more forceful in taking credit for the health care law.
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