A few left-wing bloggers have recently come up with data which, they contend, backs up their talking point that were Obamacare to pass support for the big government behemoth, currently flat-lining, would start to increase. They’re all but giddy at some supposed polling date showing that support for Medicare climbed after it passed in 1965.
Now, Medicare popularity did improve after it passed. On the other hand, it wasn’t passed despite terrible polling, with a controversial process, by a political party that was tanking in popularity thanks to a grinding recession.
Via Instapundit. And of those reasons, I think the process stands out as the primary reason why support won’t increase. The more people learn about the back room deals, the more they’ll wonder at the means the Democrats used to get this passed. If this were such a good deal, why would they have to pay off so many members to win their support?
I’d add a few more reasons why support for Obamacare won’t increase should it pass:
- The public mood has shifted since 1965. People were less skeptical then of big government programs than they are today. They were more willing to experiment with increased federal intervention.
- There was no significant organized opposition to Medicare in 1965. No taxpayer advocacy groups. (Nor an alternative media.) The conservative movement was then only nascent, having recently suffered a humiliating defeat at the polls (Goldwater won only six states in 1964). Today, the conservative movement in resurgent, reinvigorated through the Tea Party movement.
- Even many supporters don’t even know what’s in the bill’s several-thousand pages. (I mean, heck, as I write this we still don’t have the details of the House amendments to the Senate bill. There are certain “elements” Byron York observes, ” mandate, penalties, tax — are absolutely critical to the Democrats’ health care scheme.” They too are part of the plan as well as myriad new federal panels which the bill empowers to intervene in individuals’ health care decisions. Remember, even Nancy Pelosi said the House needed to pass the bill so we could know what’s in it.
Should the House deem the Senate bill passed this week as it passes its amendments to said legislation, the debate and the legislating won’t be over. The Senate will still need to pass the House amendments to its bill. Don’t think they’re going to roll over and pass them exactly as they were negotiating in back rooms on the other side of Capitol Hill.
That is, the debate won’t be over. The debate will remain in the headlines. The questionable provisions will receive media attention.
The long and the short of it is that, unlike Medicare, where a national consensus had emerged in favor of the bill by the time it passed, this time, if anything, the opposite has happened–a consensus has emerged against the bill. Indeed, I’d expect the polling for this bill to worsen if it passes when people learn just how the Democrats rammed it through–and what exactly they packed into this lengthy legislation.