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political cartoon on Obamacare
David Fitzsimmons via
There's been a tremendous amount written about what we really don't know. How often has that happened (rhetorical question, you don't have to answer)? In this case, I'm referring to the public's ultimate reaction to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, after the dust has settled. There will be plenty of pundits breathlessly explaining to you What This All Means.

We certainly don't know as much as we need to, but here are some things we do know.

Before the SCOTUS ruling:

Poll: Americans split on Supreme Court health care ruling

A poll taken days before the high court’s ruling found that 43 percent of Americans said the court should not overturn the law, and 35 percent hoped it would.

The Public Religion Research Institute poll also found that one in five Americans (21 percent) had no opinion on what the court should do.

After the SCOTUS ruling:
Gallup: Americans are sharply divided over Thursday's Supreme Court decision on the 2010 healthcare law, with 46% agreeing and 46% disagreeing with the high court's ruling that the law is constitutional. Democrats widely hail the ruling, most Republicans pan it, and independents are closely divided.
See? I hope that settles things for everyone.

(Continue reading below the fold)

But there are some nuances to these numbers. Leadership is probably an easier thing to track than sentiment about a law that few understand and that hasn't been fully implemented yet. A note on public opinion from Gallup's Frank Newport:

First of all, most Americans will not understand all of the complex legal verbiage in the opinion. The public will mainly hear or see the simple message that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld. Many news reports also remind readers/viewers that this is a victory for President Obama (see this New York Times story for a good example).
And here's a note on leadership from Mike Allen at Politico:
PLAYBOOK FACTS OF LIFE: Obama looks like a winner, and you can’t underestimate the subtle impact that has on casual voters. The attack on Obama that has tested best with focus groups – incompetent, in over his head – is now in tatters.
For some outstanding details of what the public thinks, see this excellent summary from the Washington Post polling team, who summarized Kaiser Foundation, Pew and their own ABC/WaPo polling here: Six charts to explain health-care polling. And since much of their info comes from Kaiser Foundation polling, let's go to the source.

The most recent polling available is from May, and emphasizes just how partisan the discussion has been from day one:

Kaiser Foundation May 2012 poll
I asked Darrell West, VP and Director of Governance Studies at Brookings for perspective about this finding, and he noted that "everything associated with health care reform has been highly partisan and that is not likely to change any time soon.  Public opinion has been sharply divided from the very beginning and sentiments have not changed significantly over the past few years.  It is a sad commentary on our times that people cannot see beyond their own party views to evaluate how the legislation affects them personally."

Even though it's fair to say the bill is not widely popular, it's also fair to say individual provisions are. More importantly, look what people want to do about it:

Kaiser Foundation poll on whether to amend, repeal or replace

Two years, millions of dollars spent fighting it, and we're right where we started. Now how is that a winner for Republicans? It really doesn't matter how ticked off the tea party is. Most American voters are not tea party supporters, and a plurality do not want "repeal and replace"; they want the law to stand and they want it improved. Over time as we poll after the SCOTUS decision, and after the extremists in the GOP make fools of themselves, we need to keep an eye on the graph above to see how this does or does not change.

But let's make another point. Even if it changes somewhat in weeks to come, this graph won't change all that much:

So, calling it an unpopular law misses the point and exaggerates the public's opposition. And, as far as its effect on the November election, there is reason to be cautious and take all the hype from our Republican-dominated media about how galvanized Republicans are with a large grain of sea salt.

I'll let Nate Silver and Charlie Cook have the last words on that (I agree with both of them):

Nate Silver:

But particularly given the public’s confusion over the health care law, my view has been to keep it simple: Mr. Obama got the good headline here, and that is likely to be most of what the public reacts to...

And be wary of whatever the polls say for the next week or two — the short-term reaction to the news of the ruling may not match its long-term political effects. As before, the presidential election is mostly likely to be contested mainly on economic grounds. Next week’s jobs report is likely to have a larger effect on the election than what the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Charlie Cook:
During this health care decision phase, just take a deep breath. That isn’t what the election will be about.
Still, don't lose sight of the fact that this was a huge win for Obama and the Democrats. Just imagine what the media would sound like had it gone the other way. Remember, wins represent leadership.

Follow Obama's approval ratings and his leadership score more closely than public opinion about the health law. Follow Romney's too: see opinions about Bain, especially in the swing states. Remember that Romney's other leadership claim, experience leading MA as governor, is off the table because he'd have to talk about Romneycare, the Godfather of Obamacare.

And never lose sight of the fact that Romney is unpopular. It flavors every outlandish charge he makes. More on leadership:

Obama’s re-election message is not expected to differ because of the ruling. But his presidency has changed.

Where others failed, he succeeded, pushing through a plan to get basic health coverage to millions of uninsured people in the richest nation on earth.

“Obamacare,” as critics derisively call it and supporters adoringly do, is his Medicare, his Social Security.

"Leadership" is something the public understands; "Obamacare," though they may have strong feelings about it, not so much, at least not yet. But in every case, all discussions of Obama and Obamacare lead to one place: compared to what?

The bottom line is that even though health care coverage expansion for millions of Americans is a tremendous win for Obama's leadership, the polls say Obama is just a few points ahead, running against a guy no one likes. Nothing that happened on health care last week is going to change that.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Tea Party flees to Canada to escape Socialist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      health care! Border patrol on full alert for illegals from US! Film at 11!

      These bozos won't last five minutes among polite people who speak French and have Medicare for all. Or Canadian Stalinism, either.

      Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

      by Mokurai on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:29:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks and back atcha! I can't describe how happy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am for you all.  It's been heartbreaking reading some people's stories and trying to understand the vicious opposition to the ACA.

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:03:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TPM has a "leadership" graph in their (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, citizenx, litho, Candide08, jck

    polling section, but that's down right now (perhaps because of the power outages in VA/DC).

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:02:59 AM PDT

    •  from memory, Obama leads by ~8 points or so (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkosdan, Ian Reifowitz, Matt Z, TofG

      could have gotten the margin wrong, but it's a clear lead. That's something that is worth following.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:04:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The poll tracker is back up now, but I can't find (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that leadership graph you reference.

        Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
        ¡Boycott Arizona!

        by litho on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:08:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:19:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nate Silver has a much better model (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            on the FiveThirtyEight blog at the NYT. The national beauty contest polls mean precisely nothing. What counts is the Electoral College, which means that it is the swing states that rule.

            Of the swing states, Silver gives


            New Hampshire


            North Carolina

            which results in Obama over Romney in the EC by 298.5-239.5. (No, there are no fractional votes in the EC. This is a statistical model giving a bit of spurious precision so that we can see a component of the error range.)

            Silver's model gives Obama a 67.8% chance of winning in Nov., up 9 points in the last week and still rising. Part of the bounce is economic news from Europe, but part is immigration, part is Health Care, part may be Darrell Issa and the Contempt of Congress vote against AG Eric Holder. If the election could be held now, the model gives Obama a 78% chance of winning, at 300.4-237.6.

            Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

            by Mokurai on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:56:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  he has a different model (0+ / 0-)

              not a better model.

              if and when it works, it tells us what happens in Nov, but not why. He's got the stock market and other things wired in, but you don't really know what's under the hood.

              I love Nate, and he is preternaturally accurate, but his isn't the only game in town.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:45:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I want to make a point about Rasmussen (7+ / 0-)

      and Health Care polling.

      This link will take you to Rasmussen's polling on HCR.  Note it consistently shows findings of at least a 15% net margin for repeal.  Note in particular on November 1st, 2010, he found by 58-36 that the public favored repeal.

      This link will take you to the realclearpolitics page on health care polling, and you will notice how out of whack Rasmussen was on this issue. If you got back to 2010 you will see pollsters find the net repeal in the single digits while Rasmussen is finding double digit margins for repeal.

      Here is my point: all of this polling is massively wrong.  How do i know that?  Because the 2010 exit poll found actual voters split on HCR 48-48.  So Rasmussen's number was off by more than 10, and pretty much everyone else polling was wrong by more than the margin of error.

      I have never seen anyone call Rasmussen and the other pollsters on this.  There is substantial evidence that health care polling was wrong and continues to be wrong, and nobody (I am not even a nobody - I don't count) has EVER called them on this.  The truth is the 2010 electorate was split down the middle on HCR.

      This alone casts significant doubt on the reliability of Rasmussen polling.  It also for me raises significant concerns about about modern polling and cell phones, which I have written about before.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:09:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mara Liasson on NPR this past Friday on TOTN: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, citizenx, sunbro
    "The vast majority of Americans are vehemently opposed to the Obamacare act."

    The test of whether we're willing to stand up to the thugs that wrote voter suppression laws is this: Are you willing to hold hands with someone that needs hand holding in order to qualify to vote?

    by Richard Cranium on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:06:13 AM PDT

    •  well... (18+ / 0-)

      she's wrong. I am supplying data to show it. What's she got?

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:09:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know, if I want to watch Fox News (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, shaharazade, TexasTom, olo, Possiamo

      I'll watch Fox News.  I don't need it smuggled into my NPR reporting...

      Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
      ¡Boycott Arizona!

      by litho on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:09:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NPR Is Increasingly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, wsexson

      looking/sounding like National Public Relations Radio-- doing PR for the wealthy class.

      when they took the bribe errrrrrr I mean "contribution" from ADM after their "little" problem wtih price fixing.. that was the end of alternative media NPR

      "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:11:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  She's a Republican (0+ / 0-)

      and NPR is nothing but Nice Polite Republican's. Some may call themselves Dems but they are the Broderite villager WS wing of the party. The vast majority wants health care reform meaning access to affordable decent health care. Even my conservative son thinks universal single payer is the only solution. This legislation does not have price controls and leaves the 'consumer' with no other option.

      I think the problem lies in the fact that the ACA while it helps many does nothing for a large portion of the populace. It may allow people to not be excluded but it doesn't make 'health care' affordable. The PO polled across the board at 68%. The Dems can blame the obstructionist R's till they are blue in the face but the partisan political fighting over this legislation doesn't really deliver a lot of us any relief as we're still stuck without affordable health care.    

      •  It has no "Price Controls" per se But,,, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... the amount of the Roberts Tax actually paid is to be determined based on income.
        Eventually it will become cheaper for folks to just say F the insurance companies. They overcharge for an inferior product.  I'll just pay on my 1040 & be done with it.
        Really, anyone who can afford health insurance with all the bells & whistles is probably in the top 4% or 5% anyway. Multi-Milkionairs don't even need health insurance; they can just buy a hospital wing and leave their name at the will call window.

        That Giant Sucking Sound Is Wall Street Billionaires Drinking Your Blood.

        by olo on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:49:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  'Expand law or keep law as it is'.....47%... (8+ / 0-)

    GOP is gonna need a bigger boat.

  •  The polls indicate that Americans are stupid (8+ / 0-)

    It's one thing if you support the law, or you don't.  But it's an entirely different thing as far as whether the Supreme Court should go around overturning laws, except in the most extreme cases where they clearly violate the Constitution.  

    The even split in the Gallup poll indicates to me that people are just saying whether they approve of the law or not, but that is not really the question.

    The government has done a lot of things over the years that I don't agree with (Iraq war, Bush Tax cuts, etc), but that doesn't mean I'd want the Supreme Court to go in and overturn everything that I don't happen to like.  

    The Supreme Court should not be meddling in legislation any more than it absolutely has to, and there is very little basis to believe the law should have been declared unconstitutional.

  •  Over at Volokh... (1+ / 0-)

    Ilya Somin's referenced the Newsweek poll with a headline that read:

    New Poll Shows that Majority Disapproves of the Supreme Court’s Health Care Decision
    Yeah... it went down from 65-70% all the way to 50% in literally just days.  And 50% isn't technically a majority just yet.  And the Gallup poll has obviously different numbers.
    •  "Newsweek poll" is Doug Schoen's poll (3+ / 0-)

      and can be ignored. The only thing missing is commentary by Pat Caddell.

      Reviving an idea they floated last year with an op-ed urging President Obama not to seek a second term, pollsters Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen are out Monday with a new op-ed drafting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be the Democrats' 2012 nominee.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:23:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  60% agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, Matt Z, Possiamo

    60% agree the opposition was wrong about the ACA being unconstitutional. The other 40% say, " The Supreme WHAT?"

    "Free market" simplified - if you buy a product and it kills you, you won't buy it again - no government needed.

    by tomwfox on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:17:28 AM PDT

  •  Great data. Thanks. I hope it proves right. (2+ / 0-)

    We've long seen that those who oppose the law from its left plus those who approve of the law outnumber those who oppose it from its right. The chart you provided shows the evidence.

  •  6% believe that health care is the most important (1+ / 0-)

    issue facing the country today........That's GOTTA include some Goopers.....So WTF are you doing on July 11 Boner?

  •  Americans, like most people, procrastinate (9+ / 0-)

    Many people don't understand the new law.  There was no need to bother with understanding as long as there was a possibility of reversal by the Supreme Court.  Now, there will hopefully be an increase in support as people realize the personal implications for them.  Just take the fraction of the population 50+ and ineligible for Medicare as an example.  Those people were at real risk of losing their insuance and becoming uninsurable.  

    •  I think they/we were waiting to see who would (0+ / 0-)

      win THE over.

      •  The game's not over as long as (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the Republicans insist both sides remain on the field and continue fighting.  To end the game, Democrats will have to explain the way the health care game's rules have changed and why those changes are beneficial for everyone.

        The issue has to be settled in the voters' minds, but as long as the Republicans refuse to let it be settled by continuing to fight it as big government and scary, it will need clear and concise explanation from all supporters - not just the president and Democrats running for office.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:43:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Er, they'll get help...maybe. (0+ / 0-)
          Democrats will have to explain the way the health care game's rules have changed and why those changes are beneficial for everyone.
          It's supposed to work like this: Upon implementation, the job of "explain"ing things, shifts to the government.

          Dems will be able to move along to something else.

          That Giant Sucking Sound Is Wall Street Billionaires Drinking Your Blood.

          by olo on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:14:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Insurance rebates going out (3+ / 0-)

      in the next few weeks should get some positive play
      to offset the "tax" meme the republicans are
      trying to setup. Timing of the rebates couldn't be better.

      Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

      by Sherri in TX on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:40:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "tax" meme... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bourbaki a loser for the Republicans.

        The "biggest tax increase in history" line is a flat-out lie, and one that will be an obvious lie to the public since almost no one will be affected by this tax increase.  Specifically, middle class voters who have health insurance through work will never see it.  

        And while the public at large isn't fond of taxes, it is only the Republican base that suffers from the obssessive and pathological hatred of anything that is labelled a tax.  For the rest of the public, the "free rider" argument is a pretty compelling defense of this tax.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:33:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is a key point. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfgb, litho, SoCalSal, belle1, rsmpdx

      It felt to me like everyone was holding their breath waiting for the decision.  If the Court had struck it down, supporters would go in a different direction than if it were upheld.

      Now that it had been upheld, it needs to be all hands on deck educating the public and showing the GOP leadership for the liars they are.  President Obama has been pretty good at getting PR behind his positions; we need to provide all the lift we can.

      “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

      by ahumbleopinion on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:30:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A little more time... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mokurai, Steve15 what it needs.

      As I recall, Bush's Medicare prescription plan was initially quite unpopular.  And some of those reasons for the unpopularity were actually quite valid -- it was unfunded and blew an even bigger hole in the deficit, it left that weird donut hole in the coverage, and it forced seniors to choose between a huge number of immensely complex private plans.

      Nonetheless, once the program phased in and seniors got used to its provisions, it has become less unpopular.  And can you imagine the crapstorm if anyone advocated repealing it today?

      That's what Republicans are afraid of with Obamacare.  Right now, it's not especially popular, but if it is allowed to stand and get fully implemented, it will be permanently cemented in place by 2016.  

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:30:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As Bill Kristol argued in his strategy guide (0+ / 0-)

        for defeating the Clinton health care plan.

        The sum of all GOP fears

        Passage of care plan, in any form, would guarantee and likely make permanent...the largest federal entitlement program since Social Security. Its success would signal a rebirth of centralized welfare-state policy at the very moment we have begun rolling back that idea in other areas.

        But the...proposal is also a serious political threat to the Republican Party...It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.

        Don't tell me that Bill Kristol is never right. ^_^

        Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

        by Mokurai on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:18:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Right Wing has carpet bombed the ACA (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, kerflooey, Matt Z, rsmpdx

    and it is still standing and somewhat popular.

    I guess this shows that carpet bombing does not produce pitchforks, there is hope for us yet.

  •  I like what Krugman said (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, ahumbleopinion

    real winner's in court's health ruling
    With the media 99 against, it may take some proding to get someone to admit they actually feel pretty damned good about it.

    "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

    by dkosdan on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:44:38 AM PDT

  •  The goodies are everywhere (19+ / 0-)

    and I am not talking chocolate covered ones. Even the front page of the opinion section of my conservative states paper is touting all of the benefits in the ACA, and dissing the Republicans here for being behind the ball. Did I say Idaho? As an hr professional, I received four invites on Friday to attend/participate in seminars and webinars to discuss implementation of the law. Each listed items in a POSITIVE light. The Republicans are screwed when the country realizes all the shit they have been selling about the ACA is a pack of lies.

  •  Just taking one day's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, sfgb

    letters to the editor in the daily paper, more
    were against the ruling and believed  it foreshadows
    amargeddon, or the end of life as we know it.
    Many smply repeat the right-wing talkinig points
    they've heard again and again.
    Can we get people to open their eyes, and their minds??

    "The past is never dead. It's not even past". Faulkner.

    by mchestnutjr on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:53:14 AM PDT

  •  Do you think thirty years from now (4+ / 0-)

    they'll still be calling it Obamacare?  As in "Hands off my Obamacare!"

    What a legacy!

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:05:10 AM PDT

  •  Do the 47% who believe the Court erred (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, DemFromCT

    find fault with adopting the taxation powers perspective?  What particular judicial precedents do they find in contradiction?

    (That is: polling voters on whether the Court erred in its decision is about like polling on whether a surgeon made an incision at the proper location, or whether the planned trajectory of a spacecraft is optimal.)

  •  My mother hates the fact that her grandchildren (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, sfgb, GRLionsFan, TexasTom, SoCalSal

    will continue to have healthcare, thanks to the Supreme court ruling, because of what "Fox News" tells her. She loves her grandchildren, but she hates President Obama more. How pathetic is that?

    "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matthew 5:11

    by parsonsbeach on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:18:08 AM PDT

  •  GOP Framing on Healthcare Reform (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bourbaki, belle1, SoCalSal, rsmpdx, Mokurai

    I suspect one thing that's getting overlooked in all the analysis about what the court ruling means and how it will affect people's views about healthcare reform is the way the GOP has succeeded in framing it as Obamacare. The press has largely adopted it too as a convenient shorthand. I'd like to see polling on how people feel about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act versus Obamacare.

    By framing it this way, the Republicans have succeeded in making opinion about ACA tied to opinion about Obama. Given the huge investment they've made in demonizing the President, adding his name to anything touches that thing with the same animus they've created by association.

    This method of personalizing debate is how they drag opinion shaping down to the level of emotional responses, and it's a tactic they use often and effectively. Remember how the last time around in the Clinton years, they tagged efforts to reform health care as Hillarycare?

    While Democrats are trying to argue facts and numbers, the Republicans reduce everything to personal attacks and mud slinging. That's why they look for hot-button issues and do character attacks. Karl Rove knows if you get people to react with their feelings, they stop thinking.  Further, they resist all efforts to change their minds if it conflicts with those feelings. Democrats may find this distasteful and polarizing - but it works. If the White House had any smarts, they'd be publicizing selected individuals to show how ACA will help them - and by implication everyone else who can connect with them emotionally.

    Look at it another way. Think people would get excited if you started talking about their Roosevelt Retirement package or their LBJ Care? Social Security and Medicare are now just part of the political landscape. ACA has a ways to go.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:25:57 AM PDT

    •  embrace Obamacare (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bepanda, TexasTom, belle1

      it's a winner.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:28:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then We'd Better Act Like It Is (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bepanda, annan, TexasTom, SoCalSal

        Tagline I saw the other day: "Obamacares - Romney Doesn't"

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:36:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obamacare is not a winner... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, rsmpdx

        ...but it also isn't the loser that Republicans think that it is.  The polling does seem to show that the public is pretty closely divided, which suggests it is probably a wash for both parties right now.

        That said, it is tied closely to Obama and to the Democratic party in general -- which means that the Red state Democrats who are running from Obamacare are engaging in a losing political strategy.  It's better to embrace it and form a positive message around it.  Part of the problem is that too few Democrats have been willing to publicly embrace and defend it.  More doing so could turn it from being a neutral factor into being at least a modest net positive for Democrats.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:37:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Progressives Who Were Against The Plan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfgb, belle1, rsmpdx

    because it didn't go far enough, are now ready to defend it and move forward. That is what I take from the shift upward in numbers.  The public is now split evenly on this issue as it in on generally.

  •  Of all things, this is the best imo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Still, don't lose sight of the fact that this was a huge win for Obama and the Democrats. Just imagine what the media would sound like had it gone the other way. Remember, wins represent leadership.
  •  Yup... I can see corporations... (0+ / 0-)

    ... grinning like that fellow in the last cartoon panel.  In spite of Cretinou$ Congre$$ Critter$ and Moronic Media parroting false talking points, the corporate bill written by corporations and passed because their lobbyists exercised their Free $peech rights to buy off our Cretinou$ Congre$$ Critter$ took a beating..., but $COTU$ has now made sure the fine is called a tax to those who can't/won't buy private corporate health insurance, and Wowzers, here come some record-setting profits into insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical Corporate Coffer$....

    We would have been SO much better off switching to a not-for-profit single-payer plan run through Medicare (seniors and disabled people already get it and pay for it monthly from Social Security checks, and everyone who works has a Medicare deduction from their paychecks already).  The infrastructure is in place and running efficiently, and all anyone would need to do is hire more government employees to handle the extra paperwork....

    But, noooooooooooo....  Now we're going to be forced to contribute to the profit margins of insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:34:36 AM PDT

    •  That had zero chance of passing (0+ / 0-)

      Believe it or not, the majority of people who have health insurance through their work place are comfortable with the coverage that they have.  They may not love their insurance companies, but are familiar with what they're getting and are wary of having it forcibly replaced with a government-run program.  In fact, that's the fear that Republicans have attempted to tap into by demonizing Obamacare as a "government take over of health care".

      Aside from that, the administrative dislocations caused by adding 200 million or so people to Medicare would be pretty overwhelming.  Chances are that the result would be less than smooth running for quite a few years while the bugs were worked out.

      Replacing our existing insurance system with Canadian-style single payer has never been a practical plan, either politically or administratively.  Those who think otherwise are living in every bit as much of a fantasy world as the typical Fox News viewer.

      On the other hand, I was disappointed when the public option got cut out of Obamacare (thanks, Joe Lieberman) -- because that was (and is) the best path towards a more efficient government insurance system.  Letting individuals make their own choice alleviates the fears of those who are reasonably comfortable with the private coverage that they currently have.  It also ensures that the increase in folks receiving government-based insurance occurs at a moderate pace to allow the government to hire and train the people to administer the new program, allowing a smoother transition for everyone.  Finally, it lets those on private insurance clearly see how the government option is working for those who took it before they jump in and try it for itself.

      Going forward, our first priority needs to be ensuring that Obamacare survives and gets fully implemented in 2014.  Once we're at that point, progressives need to push for a public option any way that we can -- at the federal level and at the state level.  That's a fight that we can eventually win -- unlike the single-payer fight.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:48:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was thinking more... (0+ / 0-)

        ... in line with a Scandinavian-style health care system, not Canadian, since the latter are not up to Scandinavian standards yet.  The three Scandinavian countries consistently make the top ten (often first and second place, at least) lists for citizens who are most happy or have the highest lifestyles in the world, and that includes their medical care (they consider health care a right, and have single-payer systems, extended paid parental leave for both parents when a new child is born, paid sick leave, and paid leave if they have to take time off of work to tend a sick family member, and are guaranteed a job when they get back to work if the leave has to be extended, and they have free child-care for working parents).  They also have free education from kindergarten through college, and start their elementary school children learning English as a second language from early grade school all the way through high school and/or college (and add a couple of other languages in high school).

        My BIG objection to the current health insurance law in America is that people are being forced, by law, to dump money into the profit margins of insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations.  Corporations should not be allowed to profit off our our misery and illness or drive us to bankruptcy when they refuse to pay for these catastrophic illnesses.

        After Big Oil, Mercenary, and MIC corporations started making record-setting profits after Dumbya's unconstitutional and illegal war against a little band of criminals started, I have an extreme aversion to corporate welfare.

        That goes for individual states, too, since MN is now dumping money into a THIRD pro-sports stadium within the last five years, and the rude part of the final bill that passed the state legislature without even final blueprints drawn up or property decided upon at the time is that someone added on MORE stadiums for statewide teams.  That certainly added insult to injury, especially since the new Repuke-majority legislature cut funding for education and state Medicaid, and/or just shifted funds around so those two could get some kind of funding because they refused to allow the top 1%ers to get a tax increase - which would have included Dayton who is the one who pushed for tax increases for the higher income brackets, of which he and his family are members.

        I am NOT in favor of giving our money or our tax money to corporations for any reason whatsoever, particularly for making health care a privilege and robbing from the already-poor by forcing them to buy corporate health insurance.

        I am both a senior citizen and disabled so I qualified for Medicare a long time ago.  My Medicare payments are deducted before the Social Security (now retirement, but was disability) is deposited in my account.  I can't afford extra insurance, nor should I (or other Medicare recipients) be forced to buy additional health care and/or prescription insurance (the latter we were already forced to buy).  The fact that medical and pharmaceutical corporations raised their fees right through the roof is a testament to the greed found in corporations.  They don't mind robbing from the poor at all; the more the better, as long as they make a profit.  That handwriting was on the wall a long time ago.

        Soylent Green, anyone?

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:08:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  for your reading pleasure today (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belle1, rsmpdx

      one josh marshall:

      Single payer supporters do themselves a disservice by imagining that the only or even the main obstacle to single payer is the money power of the health insurance industry. That’s obviously a big obstacle. It was a huge issue in 2009. But the biggest is the simple fact that the overwhelming majority of people, especially most people who vote, have health insurance coverage. And even though most don’t like it and hate their insurance companies, in most cases, they’re easily scared off by being told they’re going to lose what they know, lose access to their doctor and get something new that they don’t know. This is a fact. Anyone who’s ever tried to run a political campaign tied to health care reform will tell you this. I’ve been shown various polls showing support for fairly self-serving descriptions of single payer that are totally divorced from how the rhetoric would actually play in the political wild.

      The claim — probably true — that most people would end up liking the other system better doesn’t make it any less of a fact. Why it ended up this way may have something to do with deep-rooted anti-statism in the American political tradition. More likely it’s tied to historical accidents described in this piece in today’s Times.

      Grounding yourself in the policy essentials is critical. And pushing for policies you believe are workable and right even if public opinion is against you and you’re looking at a long fight into the future is the bedrock of most deep political change. But there’s no honor or credit for totally deluding yourself or others about what was at all in the range of politically possible in 2009 or now.

      read it in its entirety. Important points made.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:59:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why is our health care... (0+ / 0-)

        ... a matter of the whims of corporate politics and "Free $peech" money lobbyists used to buy our Congre$$ Critter$...?

        Why were insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations allowed to write the "possible" legislation that passed in '09?

        Our politicians were elected by We The People... not corporations.

        Saying "it wasn't possible" to pass a decent health insurance system is hiding behind the money corporations paid the Congre$$ Critter$ to vote for their profit margins..., not for the benefit of the US citizens who elected these cretins.

        It was always possible to pass something sensible.  The fact that they didn't means the vast majority of our elected officials are greedy buzzards.

        I don't accept their excuses.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:16:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you don't accept reality (0+ / 0-)

          sorry, but the way things are structured here dates back to WWII when wages were fixed but employers could offer bennies to attract people.

          Ever since then, we have an employer based insurance driven system which is inefficient but hellishly difficult to get rid of. It's a huge part of the American economy, represents lots of jobs, etc.

          I prefer single payer. Taiwan did it, but I and most others recognize just how diffiucult it would be to do it here, particialrly politically.

          Clearly you don't.  But it really doesn't matter what you accept or don't accept, it is still what it is.

          The solution? Long term change. Incremental change. Get used to it. there is no viable solution overnight.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:42:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm old (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            No good long-term changes will occur while I'm alive to see it happen.

            That's why I'm so impatient for something positive to be done.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:20:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I believe it was someone on this site who pointed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    out yesterday that most people would gladly buy health insurance if they could afford it!  That's what everyone seems to forget.  People who don't have it are unable to afford it.  They wish they could afford it.  With ACA, odds are that many people will be able to afford it.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:37:33 AM PDT

  •  Reuters/Ipsos poll up now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    shows increasing support for ACA, including among Republicans and Independents, since the SCOTUS ruling:

    Thirty-eight percent of independents support the healthcare overhaul in the poll conducted after the court ruled Thursday the law was constitutional. That was up from 27 percent from a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken days before the justices’ ruling.

    Among all registered voters, support for the law rose to 48 percent, from 43 percent before the court decision....

    Republican opposition to the law stayed strong, if somewhat weaker than before the High Court ruled. Eighty-one percent of Republicans opposed it in the most recent survey, down from 86 percent in the poll conducted June 19-23.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:40:15 AM PDT

  •  Rupert Murdoch does not think Romney will win (0+ / 0-)
    •  Yeah, Romney's problem (0+ / 0-)

      is the composition of his campaign team.  The candidate himself has nothing to do with it...

      Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
      ¡Boycott Arizona!

      by litho on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:45:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still, coming from Rupert that's gotta hurt (0+ / 0-)

        Romney's team and will trickle down through the minds of the entire Fox News team - maybe a new narrative will develop that Romney's team is incompetent.  That can only hurt morale.

  •  reason (0+ / 0-)

    There's no reason to suffer through the grave injustice of U.S. universal health care when there's a robust sampling of countries that aren't industrialized and will happily allow you to not experience Obamacare.

    by anyname on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:56:16 AM PDT

  •  How well do you think the "It's a Tax" bit will (0+ / 0-)

    stick in the minds of the people?

    Because there's already a ton of misinformation out there that the media isn't doing their homework on.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:56:57 AM PDT

  •  Obamacare/ACA explained very well, on Reddit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, SoCalSal, Eric Nelson

    Friend sent me this link, it's a very good review, enough detail to be useful but no so much your head will hurt.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:24:18 AM PDT

  •  Politics should be good for Obama (0+ / 0-)

    With the caveat that the full impact on the electorate is not yet known, I think this sets up a real trap for Romney during the debates. He and the GOP can bloviate all they want about 'taxes', but when they're mano to mano at the debates, I'm certain that either the President or the moderator is going to put R-money on the spot:

    Q: "How is what you did in MA different than the ACA?"
    A: "Uhh..."

    Q: "If you're against ACA, what do you propose instead?"
    A: "Hmmm..."

    Like Senator MadDog said, Rmoney is the worst GOP candidate to lead the charge against Obamacare, LOL. And look forward to more GOP overreach in reaction to the ACA.

    Finally, every minute and $ spent on attacking the ACA is effort diverted from Obama's only vulnerability, the economy. Rmoney seems to understand it, but count on the TP to leave him no out but to attack health care.

    Bottom line: the SC upholding ACA can only help President Obama's reelection campaign, provided he and the Democrats hammer home the benefits.

  •  Democrats must go after what appear to be (0+ / 0-)

    the 24% who doesn't know portions of the things they like on an average of about 70%, is in the law. The numbers can only go up, once they know.

  •  It's the radio again, misinforming millions and (0+ / 0-)

    It's success depends completely on their radio gods being unchallenged in their own realm and escaping critism in real time.

    Until the radio becomes a focal point for organized action it's not going to change- there is NO organized opposition to it now.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:06:22 PM PDT

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