(Bloomberg) – Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y. – one of the most vulnerable House Democrats seeking re-election this year — said he’s embracing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) even though Republicans want to use his support for “Obamacare” against him.
“There’s a lot that suggests that this bill is a pretty damn good idea,” Bishop said today at a meeting with Bloomberg News editors and reporters in New York.
Bishop, 63, is among 18 House Democrats most at risk of being unseated by Republicans in November’s elections, according to the Rothenberg Political Report, a group that analyzes campaigns. The Republican political strategy has revolved around attacking Democrats over PPACA.
Bishop has been targeted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, the group in charge of its party’s House campaigns. The committee said in a news release that Bishop “will continue to fall in line with Democratic leadership and support Obamacare even though it is hurting New York families.”
Bishop said that with more than 8 million Americans signing up for coverage through the PPACA exchange system, exceeding estimates, PPACA will shed its “growing pains” and won’t be a liability.
“It’s not the silver bullet they thought it would be,” Bishop said of the Republicans.
Bishop, who first won his House seat in 2002, was re-elected in 2012 with 52 percent of the vote. He almost lost in 2010, as Republicans gained 63 seats nationwide and won the chamber majority they still maintain. Bishop survived a prolonged recount that year to win by just a few hundred votes out of more than 194,000 cast.
Bishop’s district is in eastern Long Island, which includes the Hamptons, a popular seaside vacation spot that includes some of the nation’s most expensive properties. Obama won the district in 2012 by 1 percentage point.
Republicans Lee Zeldin, a state senator, and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prosecutor George Demos are seeking their party’s nomination in a June 24 primary to run against Bishop in the general election.