Karl Rove: GOP must go on healthcare offensive

Democratic congressional candidates have been attacking their Republican opponents on healthcare ahead of the midterm elections, and unless the GOP takes a strong stand in defense of its  policies, it risks losing its races, former presidential adviser Karl Rove says in a The Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Mr. Rove, who served as deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to former President George W. Bush, says Democrats criticize Republican opposition to the ACA because the legislation provides protections for those with pre-existing conditions. However, Mr. Rove argues that Republicans should not back down from their opposition to the ACA.

"Democrats mistakenly insist Americans must accept all of ObamaCare’s failings — ost coverage, lost doctors, skyrocketing premiums and more — if they want protections for those with pre-existing conditions," Mr. Rove writes. "The GOP should argue that they can cover Americans with pre-existing conditions without the damage ObamaCare has inflicted. This puts Republicans on offense and positions them as change agents rather than defenders of a healthcare system many Americans believe is broken."

Mr. Rove argues Republican should highlight non-ACA legislative proposals that could benefit consumers, such as expanded health savings accounts and association health plans. He also said Republican candidates shouldn't be afraid to craft personal narratives around healthcare to appeal to voters.

"For their argument to resonate, Republicans must also make the issue personal. Missouri Attorney General and Senate candidate Josh Hawley, when attacked on this issue in a debate by Sen. Claire McCaskill, revealed that one of his sons was recently diagnosed with a rare bone disease," Mr. Rove writes.

"Other Republicans should also discuss their experiences in a way that demonstrates understanding and empathy," he added.

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