Politics

Some Democrats Not So Hopeful About ObamaCare

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Remember how the health care overhaul was going to help Democrats win in 2010? Aware that the law was unpopular, Democratic politicians put their hopes in what could be called a Life cereal strategy: Try it, you'll like it, they told the public.

But no, not so much. And that's why a small number of moderate Democrats are now pushing ads boasting of their votes against the law.

A handful of House Democrats are making health care reform an election year issue—by running against it.

At least five of the 34 House Democrats who voted against their party's health care reform bill are highlighting their "no" votes in ads back home. By contrast, party officials in Washington can't identify a single House member who's running an ad boasting of a "yes" vote—despite the fact that 219 House Democrats voted in favor of final passage in March.

One Democratic strategist said it would be "political malfeasance" to run such an ad now.

Democrats have taken that advice to heart; it appears that no Democratic incumbent—in the House or in the Senate—has run a pro-reform TV ad since April, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ran one.

If the PPACA ends up helping anyone's political fortunes in November, it will probably be those who opposed it.

But even if the law had become somewhat more popular—say, with a slight majority favoring it—ObamaCare was always a risky bet to help Democrats win seats in Congress. For Democrats, many of the most vulnerable seats are in conservative leaning districts with strong Republican presences. Unless ObamaCare had somehow won over the bulk of Republicans, the law was destined to play badly in those districts. And given the certainty from the beginning of the health care debate that the votes would be strictly party-line or very close, there was very little chance that Democrats would pass a piece of legislation amenable to much of the GOP. That put moderate Democrats in a tough spot when it came time to vote, and it's why a number of them are now running against their party's biggest legislative achievement.

NEXT: Obama Motors' Ill-Timed IPO

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  1. Racist Democratic candidates.

  2. Those House Democrats are actually boasting that they were allowed by leadership to vote no on ObamaCare. The real question should be would they vote to repeal it?

    1. Truly, then thou who repealt it, dealt it.

    2. “allowed to vote no”

      Allowed. In America. To vote “no”.

      Good God, what the fuck have we come to?

      1. You’ll vote how I say you vote!

      2. A place where no Republican is allowed to vote yes?

  3. I was against it, after I was for it!

  4. Pelosi needs some new spurs, apparently. And a new cat-o-nine-tails.

    1. “”And a new cat-o-nine-tails.””

      Wouldn’t that be for the Majority Whip?

      1. Even Steve Smith would find the Pelosi-with-a-whip fantasy unappealing.

  5. There is no way Progressives will ever accept that the American people don’t want what Progressives want.

    If the American people don’t want ObamaCare, then it’s because they’ve been lied to by the Kochs (whoever they are).

    If the American people don’t want ObamaCare, then it’s because they’ve been fooled by knuckle-dragging, drooling, NASCAR watching homophobes, who want to invade Iraq and reinstate Jim Crow…

    It couldn’t possibly be because they don’t want ObamaCare–that’s impossible.

    P.S. Do not want.

    1. They don’t have to accept it because they have the “intellectual superiority” to want it for us who don’t know any better.

      1. That’ just another symptom of not being able to accept that the American people don’t want what they want.

        The will of the people should be respected above all else–and if the people don’t want what we want…?

        …then they’re vastly inferior to us in every way and should be completely ignored.

    2. Most the people I know who support national health care do so because they have a medical issue they can’t afford on their own. That includes a couple of rightwingers.

      1. I have a medical issue I can’t afford on my own.

        That’s a big part of the reason I relocated to Mexico.

        That’s a big part of the reason I’m fighting ObamaCare tooth and nail.

        1. I don’t really understand your post. If you moved to Mexico, or a big part, because medical expeneses here in the US are too costly, fighting ObamaCare isn’t going to make them cheaper. Not to say that ObamaCare will make them cheaper either. I expect costs will continue to rise either way.

          1. You stupid fucking right-wingers don’t know what’s good for you! WE do! So shut the fuck up and let Obama do his job!

          2. I’ve moved back since, but…

            1) I have an super elevated risk of cancer, so I need to undergo an exploratory procedure fairly regularly so that if and when cancer does show up, we nip it in the bud.

            If you don’t think ObamaCare will increase the cost of outpatient procedures at your local urban hospital, then may I ask if you understand how Medicare and Medicaid inflate the costs of outpatient procedures at your local hospital now?

            ObamaCare is the same thing–only more so. Why wouldn’t it have the same impact on costs and availability–only more so?

            2) One of the main reasons I’m personally so so disgusted by ObamaCare is the fact that–just like Medicare and Medicaid do now–it will ultimately transfer quality of life decisions to government bureaucrats.

            Need a hip replacement? Why should the government pay for that if a cheap wheel chair will do the same thing?

            I can probably keep all of my organs into old age, but I have a hyperactive immune system–it attacks some of my internal organs as if they were a virus. The medication to suppress my immune system costs over $1,000 a month in the US… …and taking out my intestines and just letting me live with a colostomy bag for the rest of my life would sure as hell be a lot cheaper than that.

            You don’t think that’s coming with ObamaCare?

            Fuck ObamaCare. Fuck Medicaid and Medicare too. I don’t want them making decisions about my quality of life–that’s one of the reasons I’ve worked so hard all my life, so that when I got old, I wouldn’t have to settle for the shitty care they give.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_necessity

            3) I spent 7 years working in various aspects of reimbursement in a hospital in Los Angeles. After that, I worked for a few years for a software development company designing and testing custom software used by hospitals and hospital chains all over the country.

            I’ve helped design software for every payer in the country. I’ve done everything you can do–from CCI to Medical Necessity and from National Coverage Determinations to Local Coverage Determinations… For every intermediary.

            I don’t need anybody to explain to me what the ultimate effects of ObamaCare are going to be for people who are forced into that system.

            No thanks. I’d much rather just pay for myself. …but ObamaCare won’t even let me do that! So, I’ll change that “no thanks” to “fuck you for saying you’re doing people like me any favors”.

            If what these people are trying to do to me is the result of trying to do people like me with pre-existing conditions a favor? Then go out and start doing favors for everyone I hate, please, and just leave me the hell out of it.

            1. Just to reiterate, there’s only one person in the world qualified to make quality of life decisions on my behalf…

              I’ll let you guess who that is, but let me give you a hint–it isn’t the swing voters.

    3. Its true, most of us are led around by our Kochs.

      I’m going to assume I’m the first person ever to make that joke. Now, if only there was a way to sexually innuendize the Teabaggers.

    4. Progressives dont want Obamacare.Healthcare lobbyiests wrote the bill.Obama’s plan is 100% republicans heritage foundation private insurance companies in full control of the boondoggle.Mandates are a republican idea…heritage foundation,too bad they arent bright enough to know it.Progressives wanted single payer or a strong public option to compete with for profit companies who rig the game.

      Its still smaller than bush’s drug deal.Hmmm where were the protests over THAT?

      Was it the black president?”

  6. The Democrats who voted against this monstrosity are basically claiming courage because when their votes were no longer needed, they stood against the bill. What scumbags.

    1. If they are not for it, does it matter why they vote against it?

      1. But they are for it. Had Pelosi needed the votes they would have voted for it. They only voted against it after they go her permission and knew their no vote would not sink the bill. Their “no” votes are fake.

        1. Exactly. The problem was that they got the thing “passed” in reconciliation with the pretense that it had magically been voted on.

          Reconciliation is just evil.

        2. Exactly. The problem was that they got the thing “passed” in reconciliation with the pretense that it had magically been voted on.

          Reconciliation is just evil.

          1. WTF … double posted.

        3. Exactly. The problem was that they got the thing “passed” in reconciliation with the pretense that it had magically been voted on.

          Reconciliation is just evil.

        4. “”What scumbags.””

          That sums up most politicans. For the most part, they are for or against something depending on the political wind. Sort of like Palin’s stance on the bridge to no where.

      2. yes,

        because in reality their votes were not against it if their votes were needed. For the most part they were “allowed” by leadership to vote no. There are likely only a few dems who actually really wanted to vote no.

    2. Actually, I think it’s the other way around. Many Democrats are claiming courage despite the bill’s upopularity. I’m guessing many of those who did vote for it really didn’t want to, but were afraid of the fallout. If a senator with clout like Joe Lieberman could get tarred and feathered, then a lowly House Rep could get destroyed.

      Many Dems know it’s a bad bill, just have different politically expedient reasons to vote for it.

  7. It gets even funnier when you consider most of Obamacare won’t go into effect until after the elections.

    If the electorate hates it now, wait until it kicks in!

    1. Yup those people with sick kids cant wait to lose the protection of being kicked off or premiums rising on a whim.

      1. I can’t take care of my own kids right now on what I make. What happens when they(you) raise my fucking taxes to take care of other people’s “sick kids”? Do I have to tell mine just to eat spam? Fuck you.

  8. I agree with John. This whole thing was a sham right from the beginning. Pelosi knew she had an unbeatable majority and allowed enough Dems to defect to give them cover and make it a “close” vote.

  9. I’m not sure I really buy this explanation, though, especially given the paucity of polling data in the article. From what I can tell, the unhappiness with Obamacare comes from two main sources:

    1) Republicans who weren’t going to like it no matter what happened, and
    2) Self-identified “progressives” who thought it didn’t go nearly far enough (i.e. it wasn’t a total takeover of medicine by the state).

    Given the huge advantages Democrats have in overall voter registration, the argument above doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. I would also be willing to bet that the majority of independent voters are primarily disaffected lefties, many of whom voted for Nader or considered it.

    1. “I would also be willing to bet that the majority of independent voters are primarily disaffected lefties, many of whom voted for Nader or considered it.”

      Nader got like 5% of the vote. there are a hell of a lot more independent voters than that. You really think Independents are mostly Nader voters? What planet do you live on?

      And yes, there is a big group of generally fickle voters out there who are neither partisan Republicans or Naderite lefties. Seriously, that post is a big pile of stupid.

      1. Well, my argument above isn’t based on anything (much) sounder than the original article, but I do think Suderman needed to bolster this piece with some polling data. You can speculate all day about how the electorate feels or why they feel a certain way, but minus poll data it’s only speculation.

        People really believe they can get something for nothing, or very little. There are an awful lot of people out there who think that price controls will fix medicine, or that socialization of costs will.

      2. Also, I should have said that the increase in independent voters lately is primarily disaffected lefties.

        1. “Also, I should have said that the increase in independent voters lately is primarily disaffected lefties.”

          But that doesn’t make any sense. Obama won the election by winning independents by a wide margin. The Democrats got huge majorities in the Congress by having Democrats win in places that lean Republican.

          If the Democrats’ fall in popularity and the increase in independent voters was the result of disaffected lefties going independent, Democrats wouldn’t be getting their asses kicked in places like Ohio and Nevada.

        2. I beg to differ. There are just as many or more disaffected conservatives turning independent as disaffected lefties. Disaffected lefties join the Green party.

    2. I know enough people in that second group that makes me think they’re statistically significant.

      1. They may be statistically significant in that they are a few percent. But the overwhelming majority of “independents” in this country are not Naderites. Consider the difference in vote totals of Perot in 92 and 96 versus Nader. Even in 1996 when he hardly tried, Perot managed 8.1% of the vote. The best Nader ever got was 2.7% in 2000.

        1. We should rebrand our Libertarian presidential candidate as the “leave you the fuck alone” party candidate.

          From this fall’s debate:
          Question: What are you going to do about Health Care?
          LYTFA Candidate: Leave you the fuck alone.

          Question: What are you going to do about illegal immigration?
          LYTFA Candidate: Leave you the fuck alone.

          Question: What are you going to do about the expansion of federal wiretapping authority?
          LYTFA Candidate: Leave you the fuck alone.

          Question: What are you going to do about creating jobs?
          LYTFA Candidate: Leave you the fuck alone.

          Question: What are you going to do about the epidemic of “Purple Drank” in the hip-hop community?
          LYTFA Candidate: Leave you the fuck alone.

          The beauty of the strategy is in its simplicity! With the bonus of greatly reduced prep-time for debates… A simple you/them substitution amendment gives us our foreign policy platform.

    3. Just throwing this in the ring for consideration, but when the important aspects of ObamaCare actually kick in, do you expect public opinion to swing more in favor of ObamaCare or more against?

      I’m trying to imagine public opinion of ObamaCare improving after people lose the plan they loved because under ObamaCare, they have to pay a 40% penalty for having such a great plan…

      I’m trying to imagine public opinion getting better after working families have had to pay thousands in penalties for not buying health insurance…

      …and I’m having a hard time imagining that. That’s really counter-intuitive.

      1. Yeah, it’s significant that the more noxious aspects of HCR don’t hit until 2014, well after the next presidential election cycle.

      2. “”Just throwing this in the ring for consideration, but when the important aspects of ObamaCare actually kick in, do you expect public opinion to swing more in favor of ObamaCare or more against?””

        I think it will swing against, however, since the swinging will be on someone elses watch, that someone else will make changes. Who knows what those changes will be, but my guess is that at least one republican will run on his experience with mandated health care and with his claims he can right the wrongs, he may win the primary.

      3. A lot of people will get free health care, and won’t care how bad it is, because they can spend money on something else. And yes, many of them would rather die than not have enough money to lead young hedonistic lifestyles.

        I know a lot of people from Britain, and they are quite happy with their health care, even though they acknowledge how bad it is.

    4. There’s loads of polling data there. Click on the link in the article.

      1. Yes, but it doesn’t answer the question I asked above, i.e. why are people dissatisfied with the reform bill.

        1. Because it’s worse than the status quo.

          And as everyone who chimed in on my question up yonder seems to have conceded…?

          The more it goes away from the status quo and towards the ObamaCare solution? The more they’re likely to prefer the status quo.

  10. Whenever I mention about the upcoming Obamacare headaches to a liberal, the response is almost always “We need a public option” or “we need single payer.” They don’t even spend too much time defending Obamacare, it’s as if they are secretly hoping it fails so they can get their collectivist health care utopia.

    1. They all lied out of their asses to get it passed. Now they have all conveniently forgotten the tears of joy when it passed and all of the promises that it would provide coverage for the uninsured and “bend the cost curve” and “be better than what we have”.

      Single payer didn’t happen and the government option wasn’t included not because it is some plot to see it fail. But because a large majority of the country doesn’t want that shit.

      1. “”They all lied out of their asses to get it passed.””

        Lied about what? If they didn’t know what was in the bill, how would they know they are wrong.

        I’m not defending them, but I’m taking the same definition of lie I applied to the Bush admin’s claims about WMD. For it to be a lie, you have to know the truth, and speak contra.

        1. I do think that the very people that passed the law honestly did not completely understand the legislation either. It’s so vast and large, the bill was passed just so they could get something passed before anyone in their party starts losing elections. The end result is a 1000+ page of a giant turd that the future administration will now have to polish.

          1. And they simply do not have enough polish.

          2. Well, I mean really… if you had to chose between a giant turd and a huge douche, which would you chose?

            1. Used or fresh douche? If it is used, was it used on Kate Beckinsale’s or Kathy Griffin’s vagina? Without that information, the turd sandwich can’t get an edge. Thanks.

        2. We have to pass the bill so that we can see what we need to do to finish writing it.

        3. “Lied about what? If they didn’t know what was in the bill, how would they know they are wrong.”

          For example, Obama knows that you won’t be able to keep your insurance. I found the provision in the bill that says so. He insisted you will be able to.

          He knows that premiums will go up.

          He knows it won’t pay down the national debt.

          Even if he didn’t know these things, he certainly doesn’t know believe in his mind they are true.

          If a doctor tells you you don’t have cancer without doing any tests or examinations, it’s still a lie, even if he had no idea one way or the other.

    2. They don’t really care about Obamacare per se. They just want a system that allows them to get the care they want, without pay much, if any, for it.

    3. Not that secretly. It’s designed to fail, and has a secret booby trap built in (the individual mandate) so that the failure of the insurance industry can be blamed on the Republicans who think they’re going after the constitutional weak link.

  11. You guys changed the font on the titles and author names.

    I notice these things.

    1. But at least my page takes even longer to load now. Thanks, H&R!

      1. You too?

        Change!

        1. Me too. It’s been crawling all day.

      2. I have reason set to load only cached images, which keeps things from loading too slowly.

        That, and I get to see the alt-text automatically.

    2. It sucks

    3. Reason staff,

      Why do you feel the need to constantly screw with your website and annoy your readers? This new version sucks worse than threaded comments. How about instead of worrying about cross posting on twitter, you do something about the spam?

      1. The comments look threaded to me.

        1. I didn’t mean they unthreaded the comments. I meant this change is even worse than when they instituted threaded comments.

          1. What’s the new change? I haven’t noticed.

    4. I love the new name font. It’s quite slimming.

      1. It’s quite slimming.

        It makes my butt look fat!

  12. At least five of the 34 House Democrats who voted against their party’s health care reform bill are highlighting their “no” votes in ads back home.

    Cute. All incumbents out!

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