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November 06, 2013 12:08 PM A Defeat For Obamacare?

By Ed Kilgore

Before we turn from Virginia to other election results, I just had to share this tweet from TNR’s Alec MacGillis:

Tell the 400,000 who may now become eligible for Medicaid in Virginia how the election was a loser for Obamacare.

Alec also has an article up at TNR elaborating on this point:

The gubernatorial election was won by Terry McAuliffe, who made the Medicaid expansion such a central part of his campaign that for a time he was even threatening to shut down the state government unless legislators included it in their budget. The expansion, which is now being studied by an ad hoc state panel, still faces big hurdles—the General Assembly remains firmly in Republican control, and the Koch brothers are spending heavily to pressure those Republican state legislators who dare to support the expansion. Still, the odds of the expansion happening are infinitely greater with McAuliffe in the Governor’s Mansion than with the fiercely anti-Obamacare Ken Cuccinelli.
So, the election was a clear win for Obamacare, right? Nope, say the pundits. The fact that Cuccinelli finished closer than recent polling suggested, they say, is a clear sign of strong public opposition to Obamacare, which Cuccinelli made a centerpiece of his campaign in the final days….
I’m not sure when I last saw such a stark example of election spin and punditry floating away from the substantive reality of governing and its impact on actual people.

Amen to that, brother.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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