There's a lot of cheering going on about portions of the healthcare bill that has gone into affect, like the 2.5 million young people who recently gained coverage under the changes the bill brought forth. That is great news, but there are serious problems still out there and that could indicate this news:
The poll found unpopularity for last year's health care reform bill, one of Obama's major accomplishments. About half of the respondents oppose the health care law and support for it dipped to 29 percent from 36 percent in June. Just 15 percent said the federal government should have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance.
Even among Democrats, the health care law has tepid support. Fifty percent of Democrats supported the health care law, compared with 59 percent of Democrats last June. Only about a quarter of independents back the law.
When the bill first passed last year we were given promises that it would be fixed, yet none have even been introduced. Now some on the left are pointing to last year's elections as a reason for that. Sure the Democrats no longer control the House but they can still introduce legislation. They can get surrogates out there talking about that legislation, even if it is doomed. Get the ideas in the head of voters and that can energize a Democratic base for next year.
Sadly though the Democrats, from the White House down, are nothing but whipped little puppies. They look at healthcare as a third rail now and with a Supreme Court ruling coming next summer that could jeopardize the entire legislation, I can't say I blame them.
Looking into the numbers of this poll we see that only 15% of respondents feel the mandate is legal. That includes a lot of Democrats. I also get so tired of hearing backers of the mandate use the excuse "but you have to have car insurance". That is the most failed logic there is. People are not required to drive, but suicide is illegal in all 50 states, so people are required to live.
So how do Democrats turn this around? Well a good start would be for a group of them to introduce legislation ridding the law of the mandate and in exchange coming up with other cost savings factors. Put in negotiations for drug prices under Medicare D. Allow Americans to order their drugs from Canada. Put in stricter oversight of insurance companies and the games they play to justify premium increases.
There is tons of rooms to improve the bill that won't add to the debt and can justify ridding the law of the horrible mandate. Push these changes when Congress returns next month and get them up as hot button issues going into the elections. Let people hear that the Republicans don't care about care or price, they just care about saying no.
But for this to happen that means the people out there who think Obama does no wrong have to come to reality and start pushing for it as well as everyone else. Stop sitting there and doing your chest thumping while claiming this is the best piece of legislation ever. IT ISN'T.
Sadly though I don't think these people will. I have engaged them before and if you question anything President Obama does you are instantly labeled a DINO or a Firebagger. I have a lot of respect for Barack Obama, especially with the tenacious climate he has in Washington and a rancid economy. Giving him that respect means I will call out areas I think needs improving. We got rid of a President in 2009 that wanted nothing but yes men around him. Our country doesn't need that again and we don't have that, but the part of Obama's base that believes he is infallible needs to realize this as well.
So we have a choice now. We can either push to get the bill improved and that might help save it when it hits the Supreme Court plus bring back a lot of support, or we can continue to lie to ourselves and act like this bill is the greatest thing since slice bread. The bill will then face a harder challenge standing up before our conservative Supreme Court in July and we could be back to where we were in 2009.
There's a big chance here to save the day, but I'm not that optimistic many on the left will push for it. I hope I'm wrong here, but going by what I see I don't believe I am.