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Democrats Turning on Obamacare


A new Washington Post-ABC News poll should have President Obama very nervous about the future of the Affordable Care Act. Moderate Democrats are turning against the ACA in record numbers. WaPo:

Just after the law was passed in 2010, fully 74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported the federal law making changes to the health-care system. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll, down 11 points in the past year.

Now the best case scenario here for ACA supporters is that this trend will reverse itself as the rollout happens. The rollout (the supporters hope) will eventually work better than expected, and people will start receiving benefits that they won’t want to lose. Matt Yglesias is perhaps the most prominent writer making the first argument, and Brian Beutler has made the second argument over at TPM.

But even in that case, the poll numbers above still have a lot of importance for one simple fact: how successful Obamacare ends up being depends on how dedicated all the parties involved in its implementation are to making it work. Bad poll numbers now mean that moderate Democrats could become very half-hearted in their attempts to help implementation. In that eventuality, the ACA will never even get the chance to prove itself; bad numbers now will hinder implementation, thereby almost guaranteeing bad numbers later.

This doesn’t mean, of course, the ACA’s failure is inevitable. But President Obama is going to need to call in all his political capital, and then some, to find a way out of this death spiral.

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  • rheddles

    A further negative impact of bad poll numbers for ACA and 0 will be that fewer qualified candidates will want to make a run at contestable Senate and House seats in 2014. There is a better chance that the trunks will take the Senate than that the donks will get the House. Having the trunks running both houses would make the last two years unproductive at best and allow them to block the inevitable changes that will be needed to the 2000 page monsterlaw, making it a major issue in 2016.

    • Corlyss

      Very astute observation, Rhed., about the scarcity of viable Dem candidates. Just fine with me.

    • bpuharic

      Yeah all those white guys who are now voting Democratic will become GOP voters.

      Let’s wait and see.

      • rheddles


        • bpuharic


  • Maynerd

    The unilateral partisan passage of “Obamacare” was a foolish act of hubris. You reap what you sow. The democrats will get either full credit or blame. Good luck with that.

    • bpuharic

      As if the right would do anything at all FOR the middle class.

  • Corlyss

    “This doesn’t mean, of course, the ACA’s failure is inevitable.”
    No. Native American good sense will dispatch the ACA as a monumental calamity, like Prohibition.
    Democratic candidates are running away from Obamacare as fast as their little feet will take them. I also wonder how many will ask His Nibs to campaign for them in 2014.

  • bpuharic

    Of course, many folks oppose it because they think it’s too conservative…a fact the poll does not elucidate.

    • Jeff Jones

      That won’t matter one bit. All that will matter to people is whether or not they still have the premium and coverage they had before it passed on party lines.

      You can make a rather unconvincing case that Bush was responsible when someone loses their job. Fewer and fewer people are buying it, but it still works on the low information voters. But, the Democrats have only themselves to blame for the ACA. They had a golden opportunity to push for incremental reform and, instead, they opted for one of their signature “comprehensive” bills. My heart bleeds for them.

      • bpuharic

        And Obamacare won’t affect 90% of people. People who lose their jobs will have more options than to be bankrupted by COBRA.

        Unemployment was going up when Bush left office. That’s a fact.

        It’s been going down under Obama. That’s a fact.

        And no one knows what ‘incremental reform’ means. Another 100 years of doing nothing watching American citizens die to to lack of access to healthcare while the rest of the entire civilized world does what we can’t, due to right wing opposition?

        Thanks. I’ll pass.

        • Jeff Jones

          > It’s been going down under Obama. That’s a fact.

          Uh huh. Look around.

          And, I don’t buy it when liberals talk about people dying. Your prescriptions for social change have led to more death and misery than any other disaster could dream of achieving. Let’s see, shall we?

          75 million dead under Mao

          20-30 million dead under Stalin

          60 million dead due to Hitler – I no longer buy that he was right wing. In the 1920s he was considered left-wing and his beliefs about the role of government were not even close to conservative.

          Untold millions dead due to banning DDT, all because of one woman’s ridiculous book.

          I could go on and on. You game?

          • bpuharic

            No one knows what right wingers mean by ‘look around’ other than ‘listen to Rush’ (PBUH).

            No one knows what social prescriptions you’re talking about. Mao’s been dead for a number of years. I guess Rush (PBUH) hasn’t told you…turns out he didn’t have a cold

            And go ahead keep breaking Godwin’s law. Right wingers call EVERYTHING they disagree with ‘communist’. Shows the shoddy thinking they’re so renowned for.

            By the way…Hitler was right wing. He killed every communist he met, tried to destroy the USSR and allied himself with right wingers like Franco, Tojo and Mussolini

            Guess Rush (PBUH) didn’t bother to fill you in on the details

            Yeah. I’m game. And your game is rancid

          • Jeff Jones

            You can keep bringing up Limbaugh if you want.

            > Mao’s been dead for a number of years.

            …and Bush has been out of office for a number of years, which doesn’t seem to have stopped you from continuing to pass the buck. Mao’s 75 million dead won’t stop being an atrocity because he happens to be dead himself.

            > By the way…Hitler was right wing. He killed every communist he met.

            He also killed Jewish people, which is a decidedly left-wing practice. One need only look at how the UN exists to demonize Israelis, and how the left behaved during the Occupy Wall Street protests – the skinheads joined forces with OWS and antisemitic rants were commonplace.

            You can respond but I am done engaging. You’ll just go on being angry and bitter, and using boring lines about how the rest of the world owes you something and some ethereal cabal of Rush Limbaugh, Boehner, GW Bush, and “the right” are destroying your utopia. Best of luck to you.

          • bpuharic

            As I said, the right has no argument to make so automatically calls everyone a commie.

            Killing Jews is right wing since it’s been a Christian tradition for 1500 years. Perhaps if you learned abit about Jewish history, you’d see that Martin Luther…certainly no leftist, wanted them dead. In fact your pal Hitler told the Arcbhishop of Cologne he was just doing to Jews what Christians had been doing for 2000 years.

            And if you think Franco was a commie, that merely proves what I said above.

            You guys bankrolled Wall Street. It wasn’t unions that broke this economy, it was your Wall Street pals.

            And go back to your shoddy thinking. It prevents you from being hurt by arguing with adults.

  • Bruce

    The ACA’s failure is absolutely guaranteed if you want world class healthcare without bankrupting the government (although the government is already bankrupt), if you don’t want rationing of care, if you want enough people to go in to medicine as a career to support the healthcare needs of the populace and if you don’t want to increase disincentives in the private sector to hire full time workers. But if you don’t care about these things, then maybe it has a chance of success.

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