Friday, September 20, 2013

Groups wage grassroots battle ahead of ObamaCare launch

On a recent Friday evening, David Fladeboe showed up to a high school football game in Waukesha, Wis. But he had no interest in the two teams playing. 

With a tablet in hand, he was there to get signatures on an anti-ObamaCare petition. 

"This bill is obviously not ready for prime-time. We wanna see what we can do to get it delayed and ultimately repealed," Fladeboe said. 

Fladeboe is one of many foot soldiers for the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. He was on the front lines of the ground game during the presidential campaign, and now he's back doing almost the same thing. The difference is that he is campaigning to defeat legislation as it is being implemented. 

Back in Washington, the politically risky push by Tea Party-aligned Republicans to de-fund ObamaCare is being met with derision by Democrats and some in their own party. But the ground game behind the push to derail the law itself has been building for months. 

Conservatives will say this is an information campaign, but there is a target: The Internet-based health care exchanges which go into effect Oct. 1. 

These are intended to be the markets where uninsured can shop around for coverage. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act think if they can discourage people -- young and healthy people, in particular -- from enrolling in the exchanges, there will not be enough money in the pool to pay for the sick and the elderly. ObamaCare would then, the theory goes, deflate upon implementation. 

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