Tea Party movement says Obamacare could give it new life in 2014

May 3, 2013 at 9:40 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) -- Tea Party movement leaders say they're preparing to use the rollout of the Affordable Care Act to reassert themselves in the U.S. political arena.

Leaders of the conservative grassroots movement said predictions by President Obama and other Democrats there would be glitches in the law's implementation could be a godsend for Tea Party candidates in 2014 as Republicans seek to keep control of the House and seize control of the Senate, The Hill reported Thursday.

"Implementation has already shown itself to be a series of political time bombs," said Matt Kibbe, president and chief executive officer of FreedomWorks. "The only way you fix policy is through political accountability. Those that ignore those arguments need to pay a price."

Conservatives say the Jan. 1 effective date for the act's key provisions couldn't be more fortuitous because that's when the law's state insurance exchanges will begin offering coverage, the Medicaid expansion will be effective and the bill's consumer protections will become active.

In interviews with The Hill, Tea Party movement leaders said they would launch aggressive event and messaging schedules focused on Obamacare, the term ACA detractors use.

The law's implementation is "reinvigorating the movement," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots. "We're working to recruit candidates that can talk about this."

Kibbe said his group will argue that the law will hurt patients, the economy and the deficit.

"The hypothetical arguments against Obamacare are very real," Kibbe said. "Obamacare is a much realer, more palpable threat now that it's being implemented."

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