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“Republicans Want To Take That Away”

July 9, 2012

I’m not the target audience for this op-ed column by Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren…which is part of why it’s a good column.

First, it appeared in yesterday’s MetroWest Daily News.  That means it will be read by middle-class voters in the suburbs between Rte. 128 and I-495 west of Boston (one of the two key swing electorates in Massachusetts statewide elections), not by university liberals in Boston and Cambridge.

Second, it details the ways Massachusetts residents are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act—above and beyond the commonwealth’s own (very popular) 2006 healthcare reforms:

“For seniors, health care reform means expanding Medicare coverage to pick up the costs of prescription drugs. As the donut hole closes, the average Massachusetts senior has so far saved about $650.”

“For young people, health care reform means staying on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26. So far, more than 20,000 young people here in Massachusetts have taken advantage of this.”

“For small business owners who are struggling with rising health care costs, the federal reforms give tax breaks on insurance coverage.”

“For everyone, health care reform means access to preventive care like colonoscopies or mammograms without co-pays. Early detection can save both lives and money. In Massachusetts, 780,000 individuals have received such services.”

Third, it hammers away at Republican Sen. Scott Brown and his party.  “But Mitt Romney, Scott Brown, and their fellow Republicans want to take that away….But Romney, Brown, and their fellow Republicans want to take that away….But Republicans want to take that away….”

Scott Brown on the campaign trail
Credit: Cape Cod Today

Elizabeth Warren is a long way from winning this race.  (Recent polls show Brown and Warren basically deadlocked, each with about 45% of the vote.)  But this approach—targeting swing voters, and making a clear, unemotional case about which candidate is on “your” side—is what she’ll need to 1) avoid getting pegged as a hysterical, bitchy, know-it-all liberal; and 2) persuade the remaining 10% of undecided voters that she’ll represent their interests better than Scott Brown’s barn coat and pickup truck will.

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