Just a couple months ago, the pair of hearings that congressional Republicans held this week on Obamacare would have gone very differently.
The GOP was at the top of its oversight game back then, leaving administration officials flustered. But this week, the party appeared powerless to conjure the bad Obamacare headlines it has been seeking.
The two hearings showed two sides of the Republican dilemma on Obamacare. And both contributed to the growing sense that the politics of the health care law are shifting after the law cemented itself by reaching 8 million enrollees last month.
First, House Republicans continued an increasingly desperate search for evidence that recent Obamacare news hasn't been as positive as the White House has said. At that hearing, the Republicans were stumped by their own witnesses, who had mostly positive things to say about recent developments or refused to speculate about possible future shortcomings.
Then a day later, Senate Republicans seemed to make the tactical decision that hitting hard on the law wasn't the right strategy while reviewing the person nominated to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who served as the lightning rod for many of the law's controversies.
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