Six months from now, the average American will have a much better understanding of the truth behind the bill. For your reading pleasure, you can refer to the actual bill language here or review a summary in plain English here or some bottom-line issues here.
Six months from now, with any luck whatsoever, the vitriol and misinformation will have died down. Even from the Tea Partiers – maybe.
Six months from now, the bill will slowly be phasing in.
And you know what? I suspect that that same average American is going to start to say “hey, this health care reform thing isn’t really a bad idea after all”. We’re already seeing a shift in public opinion. In a poll conducted by USA Today within days of the vote, 49% of Americans stated that the health care reform bill was a “good thing” and were “enthusiastic” and “pleased” with it. Four of seven major polls showed an increase in the numbers favoring the health care reform. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest poll found that 28 percent of respondents were now ‘strong’ supporters, up from 19 percent in January. And that was within days of the greatest attempts put forward to kill the bill.
I think that trend will continue once people fully realize what this bill means to them, and not what it means to the special interests.
And the political intrigue has only just begun. November is election time. What say ye, oh American voter?
It goes without saying that the Republican Party put their eggs in one basket on the issue of health care reform. They proposed piecemeal, “incremental” change, but then refused to map out what exactly that would look like. They actively used the philosophy of “just say no” to the bill, and have since attempted to waste the taxpayer’s dollars in filing both frivolous lawsuits and Senate bill amendments to stall the process.
In some circles, they call this “making your bed” so that you can now sleep in it.
Soon, November will be upon us. Midterm election time. The time the Republican Party has been waiting for, the time in which they figure that the American public will remember the health care reform battle and vote out all those nasty Democrats that supported the bill.
Perhaps we don’t even need to wait until November. On 4/13/2010, Florida Democrat Ted Deutch handily beat his Republican opponent in a special House election. It was the first U.S. House race of 2010, and the first since health care reform was passed. And he won by a large margin – 62% to 38%. Backlash against the Obama administration? What backlash?
I’ll put an idea out there to consider: the Republican Party may be in further trouble in November. Why? Because in the meantime, the media will have explained the actual contents of the bill to the American public. Americans will gradually start to realize that this bill actually helps the vast majority of them, and that it truly will save the country money in the long term. And then the hard questions will begin. How can I vote Republican when those are the same people that voted against health care reform? How is it that the Republican Party went all-in against this bill, when it’s actually starting to do this country some good? Then, the voters will start to wonder why they would vote for someone that actually did everything in their power to not only vote against it, but to delay the process and waste more of our money on frivolous lawsuits – something they claimed (via medical liability reform) they wanted to reduce.
The health care system will already be evolving – and providing real answers for Americans – by November. Perhaps Jim DeMint was right – it was Waterloo. He just didn’t seem to know which side was Napoleon, and which side was the Duke of Wellington. Even conservative (and former special assistant to President Bush) David Frum seems to realize who’s Waterloo this really was.
And when the dust settles, we may find ourselves in a rather barren political wasteland.
Photo credit: Michael Dawes