Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, March 22nd, 2010.

The Morning After

Obama Administration

You know what I forgot last night? The dancing banana.

Righties are certain that America is doomed. They are more certain that the “Democrat” party is doomed in November. All they have to do is run against Obamacare, they say, and The People will flock to the polls to vote for Republicans.

Here are the terrible hardships that health care reform will place on the American people in the next six months, or between now and the November elections.

For people who already are in group insurance plans through their employers:

  • They are protected from being dumped by their insurers if they get sick.
  • Lifetime limits on coverage are suspended.
  • People can keep their children on their policies through the age of 26.
  • Insurers cannot refuse to insure children because of “pre-existing conditions.”
  • Policy premiums will not change on account of HCR.

Medicare recipients:

  • Get a free annual checkup.
  • Can skip co-pays and deductibles on many preventive care services.
  • Seniors who have fallen into the Medicare D “doughnut hole” will get a $250 rebate check in a few weeks.

The above are what Republicans will be running against. They’re going to continue to raise the alarm about provisions going into effect down the road, but the way they’ve been going on one might have expected tanks in the street today.

I’ve been reading reactions on comment threads here and there, and lots of people expect their health care premiums to double or triple right away and their taxes to go up to pay for the “entitlement.” Will they notice when these things don’t happen? Some of them won’t, of course, like the tea baggers who keep screaming about phantom tax increases. But a substantial percentage of people who are queasy about what’s going to happen next will be reassured when the sky doesn’t fall.

I also saw comments from people who claimed to be small business owners who believed the bill requires them to insure their employees and feared this would put them out of business. But the law has no such requirement. All they will get are dreadful tax credits to insure their employees if they choose to.

On top of that, there will be some immediate help for people who don’t have insurance now. Medicaid is expanded, some small business owners will get a tax credit to offset the cost of insuring employees, and some state high-risk pools will receive subsidies that should enable them to offer coverage to the “pre-existing condtion” crowd at lower rates. Combined with all the young folks who will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance awhile longer, by November there should be more insured people in America. How many I can’t say, but more.

One never went broke betting on the ignorance of the American public, but there’s one other dynamic you can count on — the “Greater Asshole” rule of public demonstrations. The rule is that in the eternal struggle between public demonstrators and The Establishment, public sympathy turns against whichever side is the Greater Asshole. Well, all this past weekend the Right pretty much went off the asshole scale. I doubt they’re going to let up.

It’s too early to make predictions about November, but in the near future I expect some movement upward in public support for President Obama, Democrats in Congress and health care reform.

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