Harry Reid Imagines That ObamaCare Is Getting More Popular


The trouble with Harry…

They like it, they really, really like it?

Healthcare reform will end up helping Democrats at the polls this fall, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested Monday.

Reid, who is facing a tough reelection challenge himself, said public opinion is shifting in favor of the new healthcare law Democrats passed through Congress earlier this year, and predicted more and more voters would reject Republicans' calls for repealing the legislation.

The more people know about healthcare, the better they like it, said Reid, who listed several aspects of the new law he sees as popular.

Democrats have recently taken to arguing that the public is warming to the new health care law, but I don't buy it. As Cato's Michael Cannon argues, that narrative only works "if you begin looking for a trend at the high-water mark of opposition, if you look at a few select polls, if you look at not-so-straightforward poll questions, if you interpret simultaneous declines in both support and opposition as growing support, and if you devise a rationale for ignoring the views of those who most oppose ObamaCare." Once you do that, though, it's totally plausible!

Alternatively, as Cannon notes, you could take a look at Pollster.com's multipoll trend estimate, where it's pretty clear that the number of people who favor the law has been trending downward.

They like it?

And even if you use Pollster.com's date-range filter to look only at the trend lines since passage, you see declines in both opposition and support. ObamaCare, in other words, has gotten less popular.

Prior to the law's passage, Democrats convinced themselves that it would suddenly become popular after passage. But while it's true that specific provisions have always played well with the public, the law as a whole—with all its costs included—hasn't. Nor, as I've argued previously, was there ever much reason to think that it would. A lot of liberals pointed to the continued popularity of reform in Massachusetts, for example, but ignored the fact that this sort of reform was popular in Massachusetts prior to passage. It didn't become popular; it stayed popular. With ObamaCare, we have the opposite situation. The bill was unpopular before passage. There's little reason to believe that it will quickly become popular now that it's law.

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  1. … it’s pretty clear that the number of people who favor the poll has been trending downward.

    But what about healthcare?

    1. I htink everyone likes healthcare. Who wouldn’t want to be made well when they’re sick?

  2. Do you think Reid and co. are delusional or believe that if they say this enough people will start to believe it and just want to join the winning side?

    1. Honestly, I can’t understand why the Democrats went to the mat to pass this shit–it’s conceivably going to end the careers of a number of them–but they did. Is it ideologically important to them? I doubt it; these people are self-serving parasites.

      My guess is that they think it will be their legacy; that they “were part of the historic passing of health care legislation”, and therefore, they in fact do become delusional about its popularity because they want it so badly.

      1. It won’t only be pigeons who are shitting on their statues.

      2. It’s been the holy grail of the progressive movement for decades. I wouldn’t say all Democrats went to the mat for this. I’d say a select few in key positions went to the mat and the rest thought they had to follow.

        1. Oh god did I sound like Glenn Beck there?

          1. Are you weeping? No? Then you’re fine.

          2. Well, you didn’t compare anyone to Hitler, so that’s a plus.

      3. They really believed that people would love them for it. They really thought it would be like medicare and social security and would make them popular forever. It still may. Time will tell. But I am guessing they were delusional.

      4. Also they think long term. The real cretins are from safe districts. They don’t care if the ones who are not get beat. So what if the Republicans get the minority? They figure they can just filibuster to keep anything from changing. Then they just wait until the Republicans fuck up and they can lie their way back into power and just drag the sled a little further towards the leftist hell they so greatly desire.

      5. Epi, this thing is the holy grail of Democrats from way back. Some of them would gladly sacrifice their perpetual-reelection chances to pass this.

        And, again, it’s not about the good of society… it’s about the power grab. Even a temporary loss of a few Dem seats would be worth it, in their minds, as they could come back in a couple of years and conceivably gain a permanent majority. Possibly even a one-party system, which would make Michael Moore swear off crullers.

        1. I don’t know if I buy the “holy grail from way back”. Maybe it’s because I don’t believe that politicians (of any stripe) really believe much in anything other than their own aggrandizement, so I can’t see them sacrificing themselves for ideology. Maybe if they are retiring anyway, but otherwise, seeing as they do anything else they can to maintain their greasy grasp on power, why would they suddenly do something so risky?

          1. I think because they had built up the idea of a “crisis” about so many things they had to come up with “comprehensive reforms” for them or their base would punish them. They were darned if they do, darned if they didn’t kind of thing…

            1. I suppose if you’re going to flog the “crisis” meme, you have to come up with a “solution”, but it seems shortsighted to me. But shortsightedness isn’t something that politicians are in short supply of, so it does make sense.

              1. Gee Episiarch, next you will be telling me that America has been completely let down by its political class over the last 50 years. Maybe it has always been this bad. I have no illusions about politicians in any time period. But, I can’t believe that we managed to create the richest and most powerful country on earth without having through most of our history a political class better than the sorry ass ones we have today.

                1. We were just lucky enough to start with fewer rules in place so we got a head start.

            2. Let’s not fool ourselves and think of politicians as victims…

          2. Mass insanity. Why would they have latched onto an empty suit whom they had no idea what he was going to do once in office when they could have won with nearly anyone? The Democrats have been on a stupidity and arrogance bender of epic proportions.

            In some ways I almost wonder if all of the bluster about 2008 giving them a permanent majority was just bluff. That at some level they knew that this might be their last chance ever to have power because that has how they have been acting.

            1. They believed that Hillary would never win in the GE. Electability has always been the selling point of the empty suit.

            2. John Dems have succeeded at passing one piece of historic legislation after another, usually watered-down and compromised thanks to blue dogs and your beloved GOP, which has no policy ideas but is totally convinced, for nakedly partisan political reasons, that anything Obama accomplishes is bad.

              This empty suit business is pretty cheap. Better than a flight suit.

              1. WAAAAAAA That is really all you are saying. And being historic is a value neutral label. The Great Depression was historic, but you really don’t want to be associated with causing it.

              2. Yes, we know the Democrats have not taken us as deep into Hell as you would have liked them to.

      6. I think some democrats were true believers–Health Care is a Right!!! Even Cuba has free health care!!!

        Others were more cynical: when has passing out “free” stuff cost you votes? God help us, the answer might be “November, 2010.”

  3. ObamaCare is not currently front and center in the public consciousness, as it won’t become law for another couple of years. It’s lying dormant for now, and it’s the Democrats’ hope that the drones will accept it as inevitable. Death, taxes, ObamaCare…It’s a waiting game. That’s their strategy.

    1. That is what they think. But I think they are wrong. Things don’t stay the same forever. Just people have accepted shit like this in the past doesn’t mean they will accept it forever.

      1. Agreed. This time, I think, it’s different. We Americans, in our slow and plodding way, might finally be waking up. Too bad it took a trillion-dollar deficit (and ten of trillions in unfunded liabilities) to shake us out of our complacency. Kicking the shit out of the corrupt incumbents this November will be gratifying, but it might very well be too late.

        1. Kicking the shit out of the corrupt incumbents this November will be gratifying, but it might very well be too late.

          It’s just the beginning.

          1. I’m constructing a guillotine in my garage. Just for kicks. Yeah.
            Nothing to see here. Move along.

    2. Oh, it’s becoming law next year. Jan 1, the dependent eligibility rules change. Just got a note from my company on that point.

      Thank goodness these fucking mandates positive changes will help reduce our health-insurance costs! Then we can stop laying off people and start hiring! Yaaaay

  4. According to Michael Barone today, in late July 1994 there were five Democratic House incumbents who were behind in the polls. Today there are 13. It is really hard for an incumbent to get behind in the polls until right before the election. Their challengers never have any name recognition. If you are behind in July, that means you constituents hate your guts and really don’t care who replaces you.

    People like Reid live in such a cocoon that they probably do think they are popular. Their sock and tears come November are going to be oh so sweet.

  5. “Harry Reid” anagrams to “Hairdryer.”

    1. Anagrams are fun!

      1. Sauna Anger Farm

        1. Grease Fur!

          1. Peach Iris!

          2. Chap Ire Is.

          3. Chi Is Rape!

            1. Fat Belt Orgy

              1. Here’s one for the president: Maraca Kabob.

                I love it.

                1. Racist.

                  But in a good way…

    2. I prefer Ah Dry Err I.

      1. Rape Libretto.

        1. Nice. I note for the record that rape is in your name, too, but, oddly, not in Steve’s.


      2. Traitor Plebe

      3. Scrap Anus

        OK, I had to cheat a little bit.

        1. The wise man takes a name that can be made into many interesting anagrams.

  6. Come on, they knew all along that the bill would not suddenly become popular. The hope was that passing it early enough would keep it from being a hot button issue during the election, which this poll shows has happened somewhat. The bill is also clearly designed to fail, and create an opportunity to institute a government run single payer plan. They don’t want it to be popular; they want it to become extremely unpopular so it can be replaced by something “better.”

    1. The problem with that plan is that they oversold this one. All of the whining and crying and the extreme measures they went to pass it gave people the impression that this was the big fix the Democrats had always dreamed of.

      When they come back as a minority party and say “that wasn’t really what we wanted, we really need this”, they are not going to have a lot of credibility. Yeah, the hacks will say “we gave the free market one last chance and it failed us”. But I think most people who are not hacks are going to say “I gave the government one last chance to fix this thing and it failed” and be willing to look at different solutions.

      I understand the logic of their plan. And who knows maybe it will work. But I think there is also a chance it will backfire badly and discredit government run health care for generations.

      1. “The problem with that plan is that they oversold this one.”

        Well, that and its a terrible bill.

      2. The harmful effects (or good ones) will not be known for many years. My 24 year old will go back on my health care in January if she does not have an alternate plan from her employer by then. This will save me $80 a month. I am not for Obamacare but temporarily a number of people will think they are getting a good deal so I think any votes against democrats will have to be due to the deficit or a continued unemployment or other economic issues. I don’t think too many will be against health care that were not already against it.

        We are so screwed no matter who gets elected.

    2. But we had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it! When people get used to it they will love it!

  7. So, since Reid’s now trying to deceive us into believing the law is popular, does that mean it’s not racist to call it Obamacare?

  8. The problem with these favor/oppose polls is it doesn’t determine why a person is opposed. Some oppose because they don’t want any federal health care bill, and some oppose because they wanted a stronger bill, like single payer Canadian style.

  9. Things don’t stay the same forever.

    Right. They get shittier.

    Are there enough small-government Republican politicians to repeal it? Not extant. Will the Supreme Court swat it down? Fuck no. But Thomas’s dissent will be sweet. So there’s that.

    And some death panel type things.

    We can bet on what kinds of people they’ll mark for disposal, if we find some suckers who don’t already know.

    1. If the Republicans fuck it up and don’t repeal it and go along with the “just surrender slower” David Frums of the world, there will be a third party. This is really their last chance. And they are only getting it because the Democrats fucked up so monumentally and so quickly there wasn’t time for a third party to form.

      1. From your lips to God’s ear, buddy.

      2. To go all Yoda on you: Repeal – don’t repeal – it doesn’t matter. We don’t have the money now to pay for it and in four years we’ll have less.

        1. True enough. and that is another reason why the Democrats will never get single payer. You can’t enact single payer if you are broke.

          1. We’re working on a solution for that right now, John

  10. Reid is just a pathetic sideshow, a double-headed pig fetus in a formaldehyde jar.

    Berwick is the real threat. And the new hard-crypto Journolist has buried him as deeply as possible.

    1. Anyone who expresses the admiration for the NHS that he does is either a fucking moron or a utilitarian monster. And he seems like the latter.

      1. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    2. Money quote

      “And it’s important also to make health a human right because the main health determinants are not health care but sanitation, nutrition, housing, social justice, employment, and the like.”

      Yes “healthcare” is the perfect vehicle to implement any and all statist fantasies.

      1. As a vehicle to advance the Progressive Agenda, healthcare’s better than unicorn farts, even

  11. The WaPo had a great article about something that has been killing the Dems lately, this need for “comprehensive reform” bills (energy, finance, health care). Such sausage-like big bills are difficult to understand, sloppily put together and riddled with special interest favors. They are terrible laws and terrible politics. The Dems will deserve the kick in the ass they are going to get in Nov by following that playbook.

    1. But they create tremendous opportunity for power and for stealing. And they are very hard to undo. Yeah, they are going to get killed in November. But it will be impossible to undo the damage they have done.

      1. “Yeah, they are going to get killed in November.”


        I am hoping for deadlock, but before we get too comfortable in the assumption that it will we should think about the following consequences should it not:

        1) bigger disappointment
        2) Dems feeling more invincible and emboldened if it doesn’t

        If I have learned anything about the American voting public in the last two years, it is they are a lot less predictable than I ever would have imagined.

        1. There are no Americans anymore. There are hominids who live in the United States and pull levers each November to steal things from one another.

          1. That may very well be, but as long as the executive and legislative branches disagree on what to steal, there is less potential for theft.

    2. They should have brought up much more limited measures that everyone could understand, would be easier to defend politically, and would be less likely to include pork-laden/special interest favors.

      But they wanted to go all New Deal 100 days on us. Sigh.

      1. Obama should have triangulated like Clinton did. That is what the country thought is was getting. A lot of people voted for Obama because they missed the 1990s. They just wanted all of the viciousness of the 2000s to be over with. They really thought Obama was something new. And someone who would stand up to the extremes on both sides and unite the country.

        Every person I know who is an independent and voted for Obama thought that. Instead, he let Pelosi and Reid run the country and has been the more polarizing than Bush.

        1. Possibly, but that’s not what left wanted. As much as I find it difficult to believe, the hard left thinks what Obama has been doing IS triangulating.

      2. That’s because they thought the 2006 and 2008 elections signaled an embrace of European socialism, rather than just a rejection of George Bush.

        The American population is more libertarian than either party imagined. I saw a CATO poll that 56% of Americans self-identified as “Social Liberal/Fiscal Conservative”, which is essentially the same thing as a small-l (l)ibertarian. That explains why you see a rejection of both Republican Nationalism and the Democratic Welfare State.

        1. This ^

          Dens saw support during Obama’s campaign as a progressive movement, rather than a repudiation of neo-con Bush-style republitardism. They were horribly wrong.

  12. They’ll say Obamacare was underfunded. Have you ever seen a liberal program that wasn’t underfunded?

    1. You will see one of those right after you see a public school that is not “struggling”.

    2. Even the city government in Bell is underfunded.

    3. Of course not, needs are finite, wants are infinite.

  13. Fair warning to those eating breakfast…

    1. fair warning, but still icky as all-get-out

  14. The room was still dark when she felt the sheepskin?lined cuffs fitted around her wrists and ankles. When she was secured, he lights came on without warning, stabbing through her frightened pupils. She issued a low moan as ice-cold but expert hands slipped a needle into the pale flesh of her elbow pit.

    The room slowly resolved. She realized she was in a surgical theater. She was naked. Windows lined the round room along the ceiling. She could see faces, hazy and indistinct, yet somehow familiar. Scraps of a well-worn nightmare, perhaps. And then he stepped into view. Naked except for surgical gloves, he loomed over her before turned to address the audience.

    “Please don’t put your faith in market forces. It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can.” The audience brayed and clapped.

    She blinked in confusion and tried to scream. Only a hoarse cry came out. “I’ve paralyzed your vocal cords, dear,” turning to look at her, “so please be quiet and let your betters talk.” His deranged eyes worked at cross-purposes to stare at her before he turned away.

    “And it’s important also to make health a human right because the main health determinants are not health care but sanitation, nutrition, housing, social justice, employment, and the like.” He crossed to the foot of the gurney she was strapped to. He selected a scalpel from the cart nearby and deftly cut a deep circle at the base of her right big toe. Her cry came out as only a gurgle.

    “If we can’t standardize appropriate parts of our processes to absolute reliability, we cannot approach perfection.” He grunted to work latexed fingernails under the skin of her toe. With a sigh of pleasure he de-gloved the skin of her toe and tossed it on her belly.

    “Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy.” He flourished with the scalpel as he spoke. When he turned, she saw that he had a full-on erection.

    He ran the scalpel along her legs as he grew quiet, cutting the faintest of lines into her skin. She looked away, desperate to dissociate herself from the pain. The hooting faces behind the glass were finally clear as they pressed ever closer and jostled for a better view. The tightly drawn face on one, perpetually surprised at her own pustulence; the sagging bitch-tits and rape whistle of another; and, finally, the pinched face of Vinegar Joe attempting to leer and distain simultaneously.

    He picked up her toe skin and toyed with it. “”Health care is a common good?,” he droned, “single payer, speaking and buying for the common good.” She watched, gagging, as he tugged her toe skin down over the turgid tip of his penis.

    With a series of quick slashes, he cut a deep slit into her side, between her ribs and hip. Still in shock from that pain, she could barely react when he stabbed his toe-skinned penis into the wound.

    Thrusting with every word, he jabbed frantically into her. “The unaided human mind,” he laughed out as she began to weep, “and the acts of the individual,” he snarled, “cannot assure excellence.” Blood smeared them both. “Health care is a system,” he growled and then spat into her tear-filled eyes, “and its performance is? A. Systemic . Property!” He finished and turned to the windows, gore and semen dripping from his dwindling member. He bowed to the hooting and gibbering legislature.

    The confirmation process was complete.

    1. I have to admit, I got aroused.

    2. Y’know, I gotta give you credit – you warn us every time.

      And like Charlie Brown, I always take a kick at the football, thinking, “This time will be different…this time…”

      *head in hands, sobbing quietly*

    3. :::Claps:::

      Please tell me you’ll email a copy to dberwick@ihi.org? He’ll probably be checking his email there for a few more weeks.

    4. Bravo…may I make a suggestion? Have the woman slowly come to the realization that her protagonist is Obama.

      1. Goddam, Chris!

        You’d also be the guy standing over da Vinci’s shoulder saying, “Give Lisa a bit more smile, Leo.”

      2. Read my link at 9:44AM. It makes clear who I was portraying.

        1. sorry I missed that….carry on with your prose!

    5. I laugh only to stop myself from crying. Also, after having google imaged Donald Berwick, I feel worse about my erection.

  15. There’s two sides to Obama – the canny political operator/demagogue, and the thuggish ideologue. His fate in 2012 will hinge on which side predominates after this election.

    Well, that and the economy, but the government has become so large that the economy itself hinges to an unhealthy degree on whether he goes Clinton-style opportunist centrist, or stays faculty-lounge ideologue.

    1. He really can’t go centrist. The problem is that he has blamed too much on Bush to change his position. Take the repeal of the Bush tax cuts. The Democrats know that it is going to torpedo the economy next year. They know that they have to extend them if they want to have any hope of a sustained recovery. But to do that would entail admitting that everything they said about taxes over the last ten years was a lie. And yeah they are shameless. But even for them, that is a difficult trick to pull off.

      Obama has the added problem of the Left breathing down his neck and threatening a Kennedy style primary run against him. Ed Rendell came out this week and said that there will be one if he continues to escalate the war in Afghanistan. Now add in huge losses in November and hundreds of young eager hill rats being out of a job. If Obama tries to triangulate, his own people will kill him.

      1. He really can’t go centrist. The problem is that he has blamed too much on Bush to change his position.

        When has any previous position or statement constrained Obama’s actions?

        He’s the Leonard Shelby of politics, without the reminder tatoos.

      2. You’d know all about triangulation, wouldn’t you? Can’t let Bush tax cuts expire (we have to re-legislate them, even though they are projected to add $3 trillion to the deficit!), but growing the deficit, which again is what they’d do, by a lot, is also a no-no. It’s almost as if you (and your beloved GOP) have positioned yourselves precisely so that anything Dems do to fix the budget will be turned against them!

        1. They wouldn’t add to the deficit if you would cut spending. But Democrats can’t do that because to cut spending would be to cut the life blood out of the SEIU and assorted political cronies that are their only base of support these days.

          The Democrats spent 8 years making completely dishonest arguments. Well now they are in power and are finding out those arguments have consequences. Must suck to be them.

          1. John your repetition of stupid GOP talking points is making my head hurt. Yes this government only exists to funnel money to the SEIU. Those waiters and janitors are oppressing you John! We have to give power back to those poor starving oil and defense contractor CEOs.

            I suppose the spending we need to cut is in entitlements for the poor and the elderly… because a tax cut windfall for the wealthy is sacrosanct? How exactly do you expect to make up for the shortfall these tax cuts will cause? The magical thinking that tax cuts increase revenue, always, I suppose.

          2. I may be misremembering but you used to be more interesting John. Now it’s nothing but SEIU this, empty suit that. At least come up with something original.

            1. Uh, Pot meet Kettle.

              I’ll leave you two alone with this tube of KY and a pillow.

            2. Why don’t you both just agree that cutting the military budget and war expenditures would be a good start?
              Then you can get out the KY.

        2. I don’t think that passing multi-billion dollar healthcare bills, etc is a sign that the Dems are interested in fixing the budget.

          Not that the Repubs are either – they’re just taking that position because it’s popular.

    2. Clinton didn’t “go centrist”, he was forced to the center by a Republican Congress. It wasn’t until after 1994 that you got all the “3rd-way”, and “End of the Era of Big Government” rhetoric.

      90s gridlock turned out to be a great thing. The problem was the Monica Lewinsky affair. While most of the public dismissed it as insignificant, it did create enough of a social conservative backlash to break the gridlock and usher in a “compassionate conservative” (ie, religious conservative) George Bush.

      Unfortunately, compassionate conservatives are the worst of both worlds.

      1. Compassionate conservative doesn’t mean religious conservative. It means christian socialist.

  16. We won’t need health care after the zombies caused by the meteorite crash spread to the US.

    We are doomed.

  17. Anyone think that the leaded the afghan docs on purpose so that war would look less winnable and therefore be less politically costly when they call it quits soon?

    1. You can get Afghans in leaded and unleaded now? Kool!

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