It seems a long time since Nancy Pelosi famously said of Obamacare that, if we were to know what was in it and thus, presumably, understand it, then Congress would first have to pass it.
Well, that happened. And now, according to a USA Today/Pew poll the American public still has trouble understanding it and plainly doesn't like it. As Susan Page writes, the poll shows that opinions on Obamacare are”
… as negative as they have ever been, and disapproval of the president's handling of health care has hit a new high. Confusion and misinformation about the law haven't significantly abated, especially among the law's main targets.
So, one thinks, it has got to be a pretty bad job of a law if, after all this time, the people still have not come around. But not so fast there. Page puts the problem in big media perspective in her opening paragraph, writing that, while
Republican lawmakers have failed in dozens of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act … a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll shows just how difficult they have made it for President Obama's signature legislative achievement to succeed.
The fault, then, is not with the bill itself but with the ruthlessness of the Republicans who are so adamantly opposed to it.
The bill did not make it illegal for Democrats and others – people in the media, for instance – to sell the bill and its many glories. And they had access to the public purse if they needed funding to spread the message. But they haven't been able to close the deal and while that might give pause those less certain of themselves and their wisdom, this is not the case with those who believe in Obamacare and, hence, the ability of the government to manage the nation's health care. As Page reports:
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, says voters eventually will appreciate officials who are now "scrambling" to implement the law and create state exchanges that work. "It's been politically popular to be against the Affordable Care Act," he says. "My prediction is it's going to be much less popular when constituents understand that your political posturing is costing them affordable health care."
The political class knows what is best. Always. And is content to wait for the less enlightened to come around. Or surrender and accept, with appropriate docility, what is good for it.