It was Sunday, so it was Meet The Press (one more reason to sleep in). And Wash Post columnist E.J. Dionne dished about flagging support for the health care plan among us rubes what's actually going to pay for it. His advice to a weary, wary nation?:
The whole plan got discredited in the, in the minds of some people because the legislative process looks really awful. And the more the focus was on the legislative process, the more people said, "What's going on here?" Once they pass a plan, you can actually talk about a plan.
That worked so well for, what, TARP? The Patriot Act? Curiously, the public pushback against ObamaCare has generally fallen into two categories: First, a fear that as the government gets more involved in something, the quality of service goes in the crapper. This is a lesson learned not via ideological indoctrination, but by everyday reality. Second, nobody really knows what the hell is in the plan or how it will work in terms of dollars and sense. Both immediately and down the road a bit. Hence, apprehension. The legislative process in this case "looks really awful" because it is really awful, filled with special deals, obfuscatory language, shady cost estimates, and worse. Barack Obama, fer chrissakes, gave a whole big talk about the need for reform a few months back, where he resolutely refused to make anything clear other than whatever happens will both taste great and be less filling.
But fear not, ObamaCare supporters. You've got all the right viziers in your corner, such as celebrity plagiarist and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who chimed in on MTP in support of Dionne.
They have to put out a campaign to tell everybody what's in this bill… They [voters] don't know what's in this bill. They're afraid of this bill, but there's so many good things in it. If they can run a campaign like they did to get the election, to tell people what's in this bill, it's going to be hugely popular. That's my prediction as a historian going backwards.
More comforting thoughts, to be sure. Run a campaign explaining what's in a great historic bill after it has been passed.
If past (or Medicare) is prologue, we know that any government health care reform will end up costing bazillions more than anticipated. And we can rest assured it will suffer mission creep up the yin-yang too.