The amazing thing about the Health Care Plan, or as I guess now everybody calls it, Obamacare (even President Obama), is that when you poll Americans on whether they approve of Obamacare, an overwhelming majority (72%) say they are against it, but when you ask the very same people whether they like the pre-existing condition part or the children remaining on their parent’s plan part, they overwhelmingly support it (78%)!
Our Supreme Court is concerned largely with the individual mandate component of the law. Overall, when asked if “the federal government should or should not be able to require all Americans to obtain health insurance or else pay a fine,” just 28 percent of those surveyed said they supported the mandate, while 66 percent opposed it. Republicans polled 15-1 against, while Democrats polled 46-43% against as well. When polled separately, and asked whether they would support Obamacare without the mandate, 68% said they would. Yet, these same respondents said that if leaving the mandate in was the only way that the law would remain in place, 73% said they would support that. The SAME respondents.
How can this be? Are Americans stupid? Well, maybe. Define stupid. The better answer is that if you throw serious amounts of money at the media, behind a well-engineered campaign, you will produce whatever result you desire. The Republicans and their Super-PACs have done a great job of maligning Obamacare to the extent that I believe 8 year-old boys and girls wake up screaming in the middle of the night, convinced that Obamacare is hiding in their closet, just waiting for the right moment to fly out and pounce on them. Probably with some cadaver it just grabbed from an Obamacare death panel.
So, the conclusion is that while we all hate Obamacare (like good little Germans), we all want our kids to remain on our health care plans until they get out of grad school, and we don’t want those evil insurance companies to be able to turn Aunt Ethel away just because she discovered a lump, or charge her more money to treat other pre-existing conditions. We can’t stand the individual mandate (we don’t believe it’s constitutional, but the only amendments we can name are the first and second, depending upon what part of the country we live in), yet when faced with a world without Obamacare, we’ll go with the individual mandate. After all, we reason, we HAVE to have Social Security cards, and IDs and Auto Insurance (if we choose to drive, and really, who chooses to walk?). We HAVE to go through TSA screening at the airport if we want to fly. There are after all, Justice Scalia, many things our government requires of us, even today, though you’re right, not cell phones … yet.
A Silver Lining For Progressives?
So, I guess the big spend against Obamacare got its objective done, but even if the Supremos knock it down on constitutionality, some political analysts believe it would make it easier for Obama to cast Republicans in Washington — including conservatives in the Supreme Court — as obstructionists who have worked against the interests of middle- and low-income Americans. So, maybe the big spend to tell the big lie might backfire on the boys in red.
Democratic political consultant James Carville said that if the court were to strike down the law, “the Republican Party will own the healthcare system for the foreseeable future.””Go see (conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin) Scalia when you want healthcare,” he told CNN.
A ruling against “Obamacare”, as opponents have dubbed the law, could also take much of the steam out of an issue that has been a rallying cry for Republicans seeking to take over the White House and Senate, and keep control of the House of Representatives, in the November 6 elections. Republicans’ portrayals of the 2010 healthcare law as a step toward socialism and a dangerous intrusion by the government into Americans’ daily lives have helped inspire conservatives, including those in the small-government Tea Party movement.
Without “Obamacare” to rally them into action, it is unclear whether some conservatives would remain as passionate about the 2012 elections, analysts say.
“If this whole thing gets overturned, they could certainly lose some momentum,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, adding that Republicans would need to come up with an alternative, free-market healthcare plan to avoid losing the interest of some Tea Party conservatives. “If it gets overturned, (Republicans) are in for a knock-down, drag-out fight” in the November elections, “because … it is going to fire up progressives,” O’Connell said.
More Interesting Poll Results.
In a measure of how difficult it is to generate support for big change in almost any direction on health care, the Medicare restructuring at the center of the House GOP’s long-term budget plan fared as badly in the survey as Obama’s individual mandate. Asked what Medicare should look like in the future, just 26 percent said it “should be changed to a system where the government provides seniors with a fixed sum of money they could use either to purchase private health insurance or to pay the cost of remaining in the current Medicare program.” Fully 64 percent said “Medicare should continue as it is today, with the government … paying doctors and hospitals directly for the services they provide to seniors.”
Even a solid 56 percent to 30 percent majority of Republicans preferred the current system. How’s that grab you?