Skip to comments.Success Of Obamacare Might Translate Into Political Success
Posted on 04/18/2014 9:15:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The number of people signing up for private insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act has now reached eight million. While primarily symbolic, it does represent a victory after initial projections of seven million were reduced to six million due to the problems when the exchanges opened. We know that if they failed to meet these projections, Republicans would be making a big deal of them. In addition, late enrollees included a high percentage of young people.
Good news means more positive head lines, such as National Journal writing that Obamacare is on a Winning Streak. The political climate is changing, with some Democrats now being more willing to run on its success. I think it is essential that they do this to reduce the risk of the loss of a large number of seats this November. The evidence shows that Obamacare is a success but if Democrats dont defend it, voters will only hear Republican attacks. Hiding from Obamacare will only make Democrats look weaker, and will not protect them from voters who vote against Democrats based upon Republican misinformation.
Ezra Klein writes that the right suffers from Obamacare Derangement Syndrome, being unable to admit that it is working:
Republicans used to talk about Bush Derangement Syndrome. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer defined it as the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency? nay the very existence of George W. Bush. Republicans like Krauthammer understood that BDS helped the Bush administration in two ways: it fired up their supporters and it distracted liberals from more modest, but effective, critiques.
Today, the right struggles with Obamacare Derangement Syndrome: the acute inability to see Obamacare as anything but a catastrophic failure that the American people will soon reject. For those suffering from ODS, all bad Obamacare news is good news, and all good Obamacare news is spin. In this world, delays of minor provisions in the law prove that the entire structure is collapsing, while surges of millions of people enrolling in insurance dont prove anything at all
But its coming at a moment when Obamacares successes are getting tougher and tougher to deny. The law signed up more than 7.5 million people in the exchanges, more than 3.5 million people in Medicaid, and it led millions more to get health care through their employers or directly through insurers. Premiums are lower than the Congressional Budget Office predicted when the law passed, and insurers are already thinking about how to compete for applicants in 2015. The White House has a much better story to tell than anyone including me thought possible in December.
For Republican pundits it might not matter that Obamacare is a success. Republicans show more intensity in their views, and very little concern for the truth. Campaigning against Obamacare might still motivate Republicans to get out and vote.
Andrew Sullivan might be a bit overly optimistic about the political effects of the success of Obamacare, but I hope he is right:
Theres simply no denying that the law has been rescued by an impressive post-fiasco operation that did to ACA-opponents what the Obama campaign did to the Clintons in 2008 and to Romney in 2012. Obama out-muscled the nay-sayers on the ground. I have a feeling that this has yet to fully sink in with the public, and when it does, the politics of this might change. (Since the law was pummeled at the get-go as something beyond the skills of the federal government to implement, its subsequent successful implementation would seem to me to do a lot to reverse the damage.) There are some signs that this is happening. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds the following:
Nearly one-third of respondents in the online survey released on Tuesday said they prefer Democrats plan, policy or approach to healthcare, compared to just 18 percent for Republicans. This marks both an uptick in support for Democrats and a slide for Republicans since a similar poll in February.
Thats mainly because of renewed confidence and support from previously demoralized Democrats. But its also a reflection, it seems to me, of the political vulnerability of Republicans who have failed to present a viable alternative to the law, and indeed seem set, in the eyes of most voters, merely to repeal ACA provisions that are individually popular. And this bad position is very likely to endure because of the intensity of the loathing for Obama/Obamacare among the Medicare recipients in the GOP base. It seems to me that right now, the GOP cannot offer an alternative that keeps the more popular parts of Obamacare without the air fast leaking out of their mid-term election balloon. And so by the fall, the political dynamics of this may shift some more in Obamas direction. By 2016, that could be even more dramatic. One party the GOP will be offering unnerving change back to the status quo ante, and the other will be proposing incremental reform of the ACA. The only thing more likely to propel Hillary Clintons candidacy would be a Republican House and Senate next January.
Its that long game thing again, isnt it? Like the civil rights revolution of the Obama years, it seemed a close-to-impossible effort to start with, and then was gradually, skillfully ground out. It also seems true to me that the non-event of the ACA for many, many people will likely undermine some of the hysteria on the right. The ACA-opponents may be in danger of seeming to cry wolf over something that isnt that big a deal. Yes, they may have premium hikes to tout as evidence of the alleged disaster. And every single piece of bad news on the healthcare front will be attributed to the ACA, fairly or not. But the public will still want to know how premiums can go down without people with pre-existing conditions being kicked out of the system, or without kids being kicked off their parents plan, and so on. I think, in other words, that the GOPs position made a lot of short-term political sense in 2010 and even 2012. But its a much tougher sell in 2014, let alone 2016. Once again, they have substituted tactics for strategy. Every time they have done that with Obama, they have failed.
Sullivan described how he has benefited from the Affordable Care Act and concluded, Yes, I am just one tiny, and rare example. But for me, at least, Obamacare has over-delivered and over-performed. If my experience is replicated more widely, then I suspect the polling and politics will shift yet again.
Dr. Ronald Chusid
You misspelled series.
Propaganda piece for the low information voter, nothing to see here.
I’m having trouble seeing the downside of ObamaCare for poor or subsidized folks. Seems a lot of votes there if they can attract them.
I have no trouble seeing how ACA will kill middle working class folks and destroy the economy.
Obamacare..a success..OMG I almost just peed myself..yeah its such an awesome success that’s why every Dem running for re-election won’t utter the word..but hey I guess it’s a success if your comparing it to health care in Venezuela, which to libs is a huge success
The first sentence of this article is a lie. Eight million is the number we’ve been told by the very same government that rolled out this monstrosity. The number itself is suspect, not to mention the breakdown of actual premium payers, medicaid enrollees etc. Bogus from the get-go. And even, for the sake of argument, if the number is factual, it translates into a complete disaster.
Wait till the “Insured” find out that their insurance does not cover anything including a Doctor or a hospital.
That's right -- the numbers are cooked. And obama's goose is cooked because of the colossal failure of the UNaffordable Care Act.
there is anecdotal evidence from all parts of the country that this is already happening.
This is hugh... and series.
Knowing this administration they probably paid our tax dollars to Section 8 housers to get them to sign up ...nothing about this administration or their claims is the truth
Each new sign up means higher costs and bigger losses to the taxpayer. But we’ll make it up in volume.
Success? Success of what?
The Nazi Gun Control Act was successful too. That’s about the only comparison I can make between the two.
“Im having trouble seeing the downside of ObamaCare for poor...”
They’re put into Medicaid and few doctors are accepting Medicaid so they have insurance but no medical care.
I would bet that it is happening to Non Republicans as well.
Hopefully they will see who is to blame for Obamacare and voted for it come election time.
Every time I think about this idiotic piece of crap legislation it makes me ill.
The man who wrote the article can drop dead.
“Im having trouble seeing the downside of ObamaCare for poor or subsidized folks. Seems a lot of votes there if they can attract them.”
You hit it on the head. Medicaid rolls are swelling tremendously on this.
The middle class is getting screwed again and it will really hit when and if the employer mandate kicks in because this is where the vast majority of the middle class gets it’s healthcare.
Obama delaying it prevented that until after the mid-terms as we know.
The left is now in the process of trying to control the narrative and instituting the “big lie” with their sycophants in the media. As usual, the GOP is nowhere to be found.
Considering that Obamacare was conceived and given birth with the idea that it would fail, I am surprised that It’s failure is a surprise.
The only way to a one payer medical system is to get rid of any other system and that is what Obamacare is doing. It has destroyed medical insurance as we knew it and will give us only one way out ... single payer insurance like that in England.
Socialism, here we are.
This isn’t a moderate website. It’s a far left website.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.