Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind's made up

That seems to be the basic attitude of Americans toward the affordable care act according to Harvard pollster Robert Blendon. The linked Bloomberg article piles another brick onto the now solid wall of Obamacare success -- specifically, that hospitals are seeing fewer uninsured patients and getting paid for their services. That's great for the profits and stock price of for-profit hospitals and for their presumably mostly Republican executives. The percentage of Americans who are uninsured is now 13.4%, probably the lowest ever. And health care cost increases have slowed nearly to the rate of inflation.

The law is actually more successful than even it's most optimistic supporters expected. And yet:

Americans' opinions on the measure may be too hardened for Democrats to see much political benefit this year, or to fight off changes to the act in the future, said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health. Recent polls indicate that more Americans remain opposed to the health-care law than support it, although that includes people who think it isn't liberal enough.

I'll tell you why this is. It's because Democratic politicians, as a class, are whimpering cowards who go hide in a corner at the slightest rustle of faux populist disapproval. If they would just stand up and make a full-throated defense of the law, based on the fact that it is a big success, the corporate media would have to stop pretending that it's a disaster and more people might start to figure out the truth. They have nothing to lose -- they did vote for it after all and their opponents are going to try to use it to attack them. Hiding in the corner isn't going to help. But they're just chickenshit. 

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