One last nugget from Richard Wolffe’s new book on the Obama White House. In an interview with Wolffe, the President seemed to acknowledge that in pursuing bipartisan support for health reform, he and Democrats got snookered by a previously-thought-out GOP strategy to delay the process for as long as possible in order to politically damage him and the Democratic Party.
Here’s the President on page 75:
“You have to give the Republicans credit, just from a pure political perspective, that they used every instrument available to them in the Senate to prolong the process in such a way that helped drive down support nationally, that gave everybody a sense that somehow Washington was broken,” he told me. “At a time when everybody was worrying about jobs, for us to have to spend six to nine months on this piece of legislation obviously was not helpful.”
…I still don’t get why it’s not more broadly accepted that the quest for bipartisan support in particular was one of the main things that led to health reform becoming such a political liability for Dems. It allowed the process to drag on months longer than it had to, which directly led to the failure to pass reform before Scott Brown’s election to the Senate. Brown’s victory then allowed Republicans to argue that health reform had been repudiated by the American people before it had even passed, and forced Dems to use reconciliation to pass reform — which in turn allowed Republicans to further sour the public on the process.
Most Americans think incoming Congressmen who campaigned against the health care bill should put their money where their mouth is and decline government provided health care now that they’re in office. Only 33% think they should accept the health care they get for being a member of Congress while 53% think they should decline it and 15% have no opinion.
…Republicans and independents- who put these folks in office in the first place- strongly think they should refuse their government provided health care. GOP voters hold that sentiment by a 58/28 margin and indys do 56/27.
This is an issue where Democrats really have the opportunity to create tension between the newly elected officials and the Tea Partiers who put them there by highlighting the disconnect between the freshmen Republicans’ rhetoric and their actions.
A CNN poll recently asked this question differently, which maybe shed more light on the true sentiment out there:
“Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?”
Oppose, too liberal: 37%
Oppose, not liberal enough 13%
So, only 37% look to be opposing because they feel it’s too liberal (i.e. “government takeover of health care,” “socialized medicine,” or other rantings of the “repeal Obamacare” crowd.)
I can’t wait to see all the Rushites and Beckos and Tea Party purists turn in their “Obamacare” health care cards. While they’re at it, they should cancel their Social Security and Medicare payments. THAT would be true patriotism, folks.
don’t hold your breath waiting for consistency from that crowd….
CBO announced today it’s estimate about what will happen if Republicans repeal health reform (H.R. 2):
H.R. 2 would probably increase federal budget deficits …in the vicinity of $230 billion (through 2021)
Under H.R. 2, about 32 million fewer nonelderly people would have health insurance in 2019, leaving a total of about 54 million nonelderly people uninsured. The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, compared with a projected share of 94 percent under current law (and 83 percent currently).
(sigh) If only facts, in any way, mattered. Social and cognitive science, not to mention electoral experience, tell us definitively that they do not, as those who took Dayton up on his open mic’ yesterday demonstrated.
Let’s, instead, read aloud from the Constitution…
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the Republic of Richard Sands, one nation…”