When President Obama ran for president in 2008 he understood that the root of every American’s economic security laid with ensuring every American would have access to affordable health care. He knew a single-payer health care system was the most effective system. However he was pragmatic enough to settle for RomneyCare on Viagra to begin the codification of health care as a right.
The reason health care reform has always eluded presidents of the past is because of ideological rigidity. President Obama minimized his ideological rigidity to the consternation of his left flank to get an imperfect law that will ultimately get improved. A few months ago I wrote a piece that placed this into context:
The genius in achieving the passage of Obamacare is immediately evident after reading the transcribed talk titled “A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US” given by Karen S. Palmer MPH, MS in San Francisco at the Spring, 1999 Physicians For A National Health Program (PNHP) meeting. The talk revealed the headwinds that have blown over every President attempting to pass some form of universal healthcare. Doctor associations, insurance industry, unions, and other groups have always created opposition in some combination that guaranteed failure. She described the reason for failure as follows.Please read below the fold for more on this story.
Political naiveté on the part of the reformers in failing to deal with the interest group opposition, ideology, historical experience, and the overall political context all played a key role in shaping how these groups identified and expressed their interests.
In effect, the very compromises President Obama has been knocked for are the compromises that allowed the passage of the Affordable Care Act. It was a running start that will need modification. The president is cognizant of this fact and he stated that much in the State Of The Union Speech on January 25th, 2011.
There are two polls out this week that seem to show opposite results. They were both taken in March. The AP-Gfk poll finds support for Obamacare falling to 26 percent. The Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds for the first time since November the Obamacare moved in a positive direction. Its net unfavorable went from 16 points to 8 points.
What is obvious from both polls is that after five years, Americans are still confused about the Affordable Care Act. This is not all their fault. There is a concerted effort by moneyed interests to misinform. They have been doing this successfully with many bogus ads that have been debunked at Daily Kos and throughout the ethical media.
Republican opposition to Obamacare has been steadfast and continuous. Republicans have spoken with one voice. The lies they tell are methodical and believable to many.
Because there is a real need for affordable healthcare, Americans know there is a problem. They do not know if Obamacare is the answer. They know what Republicans are offering is more of the status quo that does not help them. The polls show that given those options they are inclined to stay with Obamacare for the time being. They have this feeling even as Democrats refuse a full-throated blitz on support. As opposed to what is being sold by the traditional media, pundits, and consultants, these polls bode well not only for Obamacare but for Democrats.
Obamacare is the Democrats' alternative to the status quo. The status quo bankrupts Americans and kills. If Democrats get aggressive not only in supporting Obamacare but representing graphically an America without it, they win, the poor wins, the middle class wins.
The message is simple, vote for those opposing Obamacare and you risk bankruptcy, financial insecurity, or death.