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April 22nd, 2013

Braley backtracks on Obamacare

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Written by: Jeff Patch
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Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo, is running away from his past embrace of Obamacare as the “huge train wreck” of a program careens toward full implementation.

Braley told journalists at a taping of “Iowa Press” that aired this weekend that he doesn’t know how Obamacare is going to impact citizens in Iowa. Braley enthusiastically backed Obamacare when it passed the U.S. House in 2009, but now that Braley is seeking the Democratic nomination for Senate, he’s changing his tune.

When Obamacare passed Braley said he was convinced it would be good for Iowa, now he says we need to get a better sense of how it’s going to impact Iowa because “unfortunately we don’t know that right now.”

The contrast between Braley’s spin from 2009-2010 to today is striking.


Braley said the health care law would be good for Iowa: “After reading the bill, listening to my constituents and debating the bill’s provisions in Congress, I’m convinced this legislation is good for Iowa.” (Rep. Bruce Braley, “Braley Statement on House Passage of Health Care Reform,” March 21, 2010 press release)

  • Braley said the health care law would “decrease health insurance costs”: “This bill will decrease health insurance costs, expand access to quality, affordable health care, improve reimbursements for Iowa medical providers and allow Americans to maintain their choice of health insurance.”
  • Braley said the health care law would “provide much-needed relief for thousands of businesses” in Iowa: “This legislation will provide much-needed relief for thousands of businesses in Iowa’s First District and will reduce our deficit by more than $143 billion over the next 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the 10 years after that.”


Transcript excerpt of Iowa Press:

IPTV’s Dean Borg: A moment ago you referred to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, some call it Obamacare, kicking in right about the time that people will be going to the polls. You know, people are uncomfortable about change, especially when it affects their health care.

Braley: Right.

Borg: Can that adversely affect your campaign?

Braley: Anything that is happening in the broader world can adversely affect any campaign.  What I’ve tried to do as it relates to health care is to be honest and candid with the people I represent about what’s in the bill and what it’s going to do for them.  That’s why I did 17 town hall meetings as we were putting the bill together and as we continue to see how each state sets up the exchange and whether states take the Medicaid funding that is a critical component of that broader plan then we’re going to have a better sense of how it’s going to impact people here in Iowa and unfortunately we don’t know that right now.

Borg: So, what I hear you saying, it’s a possibility, it could adversely affect your campaign?

Braley: Sure it could, just like any other factor. 

Read the full transcript from IPTV’s Iowa Press or watch the program online at their website. TIR’s Craig Robinson also featured Braley’s comments on Iowa Press that entitlement reform is immoral.

About the Author

Jeff Patch
Jeff Patch is a correspondent for He's a communications, research and political consultant for Iowa candidates, causes and companies. E-mail questions, comments, insults or story ideas to jeff [at]

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