She hasn’t entered the race for Democratic National Committee chair yet, but NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue is showing she is not afraid to use her organization’s muscle to keep Democrats in line. In response to reports that some Senate Democrats are considering agreeing with the Republican plan to dismantle Obamacare, Hogue issued this press release:
“NARAL has a clear message for Democratic lawmakers: If you support Republicans in their effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, NARAL, our one million member activists, and our PAC will not support you in 2018 or beyond.
“Republican leaders have made clear their only intention is to repeal the law. They do not have now, nor are they likely to ever have, a meaningful plan to ‘replace’ this historic expansion of Americans’ health care. Democrats should not play this game with them. Democrats fought hard to pass the law, and now millions of Americans are benefiting from those efforts. The law has expanded healthcare coverage for millions of people for the first time ever and guaranteed coverage of vital reproductive healthcare services like contraception, maternity care, and well-woman visits. That’s why most Americans want to fully implement or even expand the ACA and the benefits it has brought to families across the country.
“Democrats should not learn the wrong lessons from 2016. If they do, they will be without our support in 2018.”
The statement doesn’t mention any names, but the likely culprits are red state Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018. It will be interesting to see what kind of pressure this puts on the declared DNC chair candidates to take this position. All of them – with the possible exception of Keith Ellison in case he is not elected to the job and remains in the House – have the privilege of not having to vote for any Obamacare repeal or replacement proposals. It will also be interesting to see what kind of party discipline a threat like this can impose (or not).