Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Gazillion Dollar Question: Who Hated The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?

The brave new world of Trumpcare must wait a while, because the master of the Art of the Deal failed to get a deal.  Sad!*

The reasons for that failure are many, but one of them surely was the large number of citizens who contacted their representatives in the US Congress and told them they don't like to lose their health insurance benefits.  Politicians worry about getting re-elected.

A recent poll, and an earlier one, tell us that the support for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a minority position:  Only 17% of those surveyed in that last poll were all gung-ho about the wonderful future of Trumpcare:**

Disapproval of the Republican plan is 56 - 22 percent among men, 56 - 13 percent among women, 54 - 20 percent among white voters, 64 - 10 percent among non-white voters, 80 - 3 percent among Democrats, 58 - 14 percent among independent voters and by margins of 2-1 or more in every age group.
But but but, you might say:  Haven't the Republican politicians ranted and raved about "Obamacare" since it was established?

Indeed, and the support for repeal and replacements is still higher among Republicans.

Still, why would Trump insist that one of the first real moves of his reign would be the killing of the ACA?  Who are in that 17% or so who really want to see the ACA dead?

I couldn't immediately find data on that, but I suspect that it would be the moneyed folks whose taxes pay for some of the ACA.  Those people, of course, run much of the Republican propaganda by paying for it and also, thanks to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, run much of the politics in this country.  Besides, they can afford to pay for their own health care costs out-of-pocket, if necessary, which means that they see the ACA as purely negative and harmful to their interests.

Finally, this clear failure to win by our Dear Leader (who promised that "we" would win so much we'd get tired of it) can also be attributed to earlier ignorance by far too many Americans*** and to that odd incompetence of the Republican Party:  Despite openly hating and criticizing the ACA they had no complete plan ready when the time would be right, but had to scribble up something in a few short weeks, and that something satisfied neither that part of their base which found the replacement not cruel enough nor those which found it too cruel.


*  The battle may have been won but the war is ongoing.  That means the next step for the Trump administration is to try to make the ACA implode.  Perhaps the website can be made impossible to navigate, perhaps bureaucracy can be increased, perhaps nobody will try to fix any problems.  Wait a few years, and then repeal!  Success and profit.

*  As an aside, have a look at this part of the poll results:

When it is explained that federal funding for Planned Parenthood is used only for non- abortion health issues, American voters oppose cutting federal funding to Planned Parenthood 80 - 14 percent, including 60 - 32 percent among Republicans. In a simple question, without the explanation, voters oppose cutting Planned Parenthood funding 61 - 33 percent.

Voters also oppose 74 - 22 percent, including 54 - 39 percent among Republicans, cutting federal funding for Medicaid

Wow and wow.  Most Americans don't want to de-fund Planned Parenthood  or starve Medicaid to death, assuming the poll is representative.  We would never know this if we got our information from Fox News, and other sites in the conservative media buble.

**  From last month:

A sizable minority of Americans don’t understand that Obamacare is just another name for the Affordable Care Act.
This finding, from a poll by Morning Consult, illustrates the extent of public confusion over a health law that President Trump and Republicans in Congress hope to repeal.
In the survey, 35 percent of respondents said either they thought Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were different policies (17 percent) or didn’t know if they were the same or different (18 percent). This confusion was more pronounced among people 18 to 29 and those who earn less than $50,000 — two groups that could be significantly affected by repeal.