In the annals of LEAST SURPRISING NEWS IN AMERICAN POLITICS, EVER comes this not-even-remotely-a-bombshell report: “[Johns Hopkins University sociologists] Stephen L. Morgan and Minhyoung Kang found the ACA’s passage caused a sharp drop in support for health-care spending across party lines and might have ushered in a broader conservative “cold front” when it comes to other issues.” Emphasis the Washington Post’s: I get the feeling that they were surprised, at least. I imagine that it might have even come as a nasty shock to some of them.
Mind you, the WaPo is continuing to take refuge in the arguments that individual elements of the law are popular, and that “most Americans do not want to repeal the law.” As to the first, the truth of the matter is that Americans continue to hate Obamacare; and as for the second… well, the only pollster who seems to be consistently asking about repeal is Quinnipiac, and they’re getting an even split down the middle. Which means that “most Americans do not want to repeal the law” is precisely as true as “most Americans do not want to keep the law.”
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is showing the same keen political instincts that served her so well in 2008 by getting involved in this ongoing dumpster fire of the Democratic party’s: “Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday hailed President Barack Obama’s health care law for reducing the rate of uninsured Americans and vowed to defend it against Republican opposition if she wins the White House.” Let’s leave aside for the moment the awkwardness that said reduction is under-performing at a frantic rate and that rate hikes are going through the ceiling; or that Medicaid expansion (read: ‘cure worse than the disease*’) is helping to fuel said ‘expansion.’ It’s still absolutely remarkable how it can be that the one Democrat who could believably distance herself from Obamacare has instead decided to double down on it.
No, really, think about it. Hillary Clinton never voted for Obamacare (unlike Bernie Sanders). She never really stumped for the law (unlike Joe Biden). She doesn’t have an unmitigated disaster of a state Obamacare exchange around her neck (unlike Martin O’Malley). She could rather easily distance herself from Obamacare. In fact, it would have extra weight in her case because of her disastrous attempt to impose Hillarycare in the 1990s. Only Nixon could go to China, and only Hillary could credibly call for a permanent delay of the individual and employer mandates.
But no, instead Hillary Clinton is going to fulminate about the increased health costs that her own party helped foster. Does she intend to follow this up with any actual proposals and/or initiatives in a hypothetical Clinton administration? Goodness me: at this point, what difference does it make? There’s no indication that the woman has any more idea how to turn rhetoric into reality than Barack Obama does.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Medicaid expansion is a wonderful policy tool for people who rather badly want to at least look like they’ve done something for the poor. It’s not so wonderful for the poor themselves.