Health wonks and Dem operatives are quietly mulling the possibility of a new batch of health plan cancellations in October—just before the midterms. […]We know how much the far right—namely the Koch brothers—like to blow up negative anecdotes into full-fledged campaigns of lies. A major question, though, is whether it'll have much impact. Will it fall on deaf ears? "Oh, more Obamacare complaints from Republicans." Possibly. The cancellation also might come late and so close to the election that they won't make the difference.
According to Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation, the possibility of more cancellations resides in the fact that an untold number of people may have renewed policies before January 1st, meaning they did not have to meet Obamacare’s minimum standards. Those people with current plans that don’t comply could get cancellation notices 90 days before the end of this year, i.e., in October. […]
“So much of this debate has been driven by anecdote, which can be misleading,” Levitt says. “When there is no data available to see whether the anecdotes are generalizable, they get reported anyway. This could be another example of a relatively small number of negative anecdotes being used by opponents of the law to discredit it.”
This could still be an issue even if it doesn’t happen in states with contested Senate races. “It might not matter if it’s in a specific state or not,” Levitt says. “If the story gets fed through news coverage and social media, if policies are cancelled anywhere, there’s the potential for critics to make it a national story that puts vulnerable proponents on the defensive, even if this isn’t happening in their states.”
But it's worth Democrats thinking about this likely attack coming, and working on a response so that they don't do their usual thing: collapse upon themselves, weakly pointing out that what they really want is to change Obamacare. Being forewarned gives them the opportunity to go on the offensive, to point out that many of the people who had their old policies cancelled are paying less for their new plans, and to point out that the law is working really well for most people.