HCR Good for America, Smart for Democrats

In the Washington Post, Joel Benenson explains why polls showing opposition to health care reform are misleading and why passage of HCR is not a political risk for Democrats.

First, the split between approval and disapproval of the current health care reform bill is pretty close to even. The most recent poll at pollingreport.com, conducted March 2-8 by AP-GfK Roper, shows “approve” slightly ahead, 49 percent to 46 percent.

Further, Benenson says a couple of polls that asked follow-up questions found that a substantial minority — more than one-third in a recent Ipsos poll — of the “opposers” were against the bill because it doesn’t go far enough, not because it goes too far. It’s safe to say that the percentage of Americans who oppose the bill because they think it is too radically “liberal” is a minority. A large minority, but a minority nonetheless.

It’s also the case that a large number of opponents don’t know what’s in the bill, and when they are told about individual components of the bill, such as not permitting insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, they tend to support those individual components.

Finally, the Big Truth is that while a majority of Americans don’t want “government-run health care,” the bleeping bill doesn’t establish any bleeping “government-run health care.” Except for Medicare and Medicaid, which already exist, everyone’s health care will still be insured by private insurance companies. Damn. But there’s no reason not to keep pushing for the public option in a separate bill.

Once HCR passes, for the overwhelming majority of Americans who already have insurance nothing is going to change. Their premiums won’t be suddenly jacked up, and they will have the same access to the same doctors in the same offices and hospitals.

I take it some of the tea baggers imagine doctors will be forced to work out of barbed-wire enclosed gulags, and that it will require a signed permission form from the Ministry of Rationed Health to see one. But when that doesn’t happen, and when tanks don’t appear in the streets and Grandma is not hauled off to the Soylent Green factory, a lot of the hysteria will fade away. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

I can even imagine the day when some of the same Republican gasbags who are fanning the hysteria flames to stop the bill from passing will take credit for it.

The biggest problem is that since many of the provisions won’t go into effect for two to four years, that will give the gasbags two to four more years to demagogue. We may have to fight to keep some or all of it from being repealed before it’s all even implemented.

But I agree with RJ Eskow — passing the bill is not just the right thing to do, but it will also help Dems politically. Pollsters and pundits who say otherwise are just pulling the old “briar patch” scam.

BTW — this week’s Big Liar Catapult the Propaganda Award is split between Jammie Wearing Fool and the Ace of Spades, who say it’s a lie that the HCR bill doesn’t fund abortions because “P. 2017 of HCR Bill Specifically Mentions Funding Abortions.” They don’t tell us what it says about abortion on page 2017, but it “specifically mentions” funding abortions. Therefore, Dems lie about the funding thing.

And I thought righties were claiming no one had read the bill. But there’s nothing about abortion on page 2017 of the Senate bill (HR 3590) that passed in December, which is supposed to represent the mostly final version. It doesn’t say anything about abortion on page 2017 of the now obsolete House bill (HR 3200) either.

Both bills specifically do mention abortion here and there, just not on page 2017. The Senate bill has a section that begins on page 2077 (did the Fool and the Ace get the number wrong?) that specifically mentions abortion, and it specifically says there will be no change in federal law regarding abortion. Timothy Noah explains why the Senate bill doesn’t fund abortions.

But I love the way the Fool and the Ace both “proved” Democrats lie about abortion funding in the bill by saying the bill “specifically mentions” abortion, never mind what “specifically” the bill actually says, and they can’t even get the page number right.

9 thoughts on “HCR Good for America, Smart for Democrats

  1. Damn!
    And here I was ready to take the girlfriend I don’t have, to the “Abortions ‘R Us” drive-through, which doesn’t exist, for a Federally-mandated abortion, which is not mentioned in the bill!

    This is why the Right-wing always tried to cloud any issue. They hope their disinformation campaigns freak enough voters out so that no progress can be made. When people really see the light, through facts, they usually don’t side with imbeciles like ‘The Fool’ and ‘The Ace.’

    This is the intent of the “Tex-books” that will be used. To cloud things up.
    In the future, children in “Blue” states will read mostly factual accounts of this era in textbooks.
    The children in “Red” states will read carefully selected, Christionist revisionist hysteria, uhm, sorry, “history” in Tex-books.
    I for one, want to get my hands on one of the new “Tex-books.” I want to read how Phyllis Schlaffly is more important in American History than Martin Luther King. I need a good laugh – and that, there, is COMEDY GOLD! Unless you have children who will be educated in states that use “Tex-books.”

  2. …a lot of the hysteria will fade away. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

    The world is always coming to the end with these people, until it doesn’t come to an end. Obama speaking to school children was the end of America as we knew it; brainwashing on an unprecedented scale; Soviet-style mind control… until the day after, when it all went away and has never been mentioned again. We’ve seen this over and over.

    HCR is a much bigger issue so it will hang in for a long while with Republican “leadership” but the people will get Very Very Bored. And baseball season is upon us. And summer trips to the beach…

  3. In the Washington Post, Joel Benenson explains why polls showing opposition to health care reform are misleading and why passage of HCR is not a political risk for Democrats.

    I suspect it is this way also with regulation. The vast majority understand that corporations should not be left to police themselves after the 9-iron is put through the window of big “gummint”. The biggest hoax, one that apparently works on our “tread-lightly” President, is a false idea of where Americans stand on the issues. By making the middle appear much farther to the right than it is any compromise (with Dems being the only ones compromising) is that much more to the right.

    Dems should be campaigning on what they would do as they find candidates to oppose conservadems. As those in Congress realize that Americans hold them in disdain for their tepid pursuit of corporate regulation they’ll change their spots like leopards. They have no shame in that.

    It will be business as usual if Dems refuse to level sharp, pointed attacks at the Republican opposition to financial industry regulation and repetitively shine the spotlight on it to show it for what it is — doing the bidding of the corporations whose contributions get them elected while ignoring the people.

    There’s a scarcity of leaders for the majority to get behind. There never would have been any tea partying if it had been otherwise.

  4. Suppose you are going to paint the outside of your house. You and your wife don’t agree on the exact color scheme, the hue and the accent colors. The house has to be painted and you decide based on the pre-nup agreement (all decisions re the outside of the house are yours – alll decor in the house is hers) and get the house painted. You do it because it’s peeling and won’t wait.

    Here’s the question. After the job is done, and it looks pretty good, will she make good on her threat and divorce you AND repaint the house to her scheme? Or will she decide it 1) is protecting the house and 2) doesn’t look as bad as she feared – and not make you sleep on the couch…

    If we strip out the Nebraska deal and anything that smells of special backroom deals, the bill will look good on the merits. (No one will ever convince me the process was pretty.) IF (I emphasize IF) we get the message out abut the CONTENT of the bill, Democrats can sell it in November. If they don’t pass it, the crash and burn of the Deomcratic party will make the Hindenburg incident look like a weenie roast.

    • If we strip out the Nebraska deal and anything that smells of special backroom deals, the bill will look good on the merits.

      I thought that was done already.

  5. “IF (I emphasize IF) we get the message out abut the CONTENT of the bill, Democrats can sell it in November. ”

    I actually think the message about what’s in the bill has been gotten out and repeatedly. The problem is that the Rethugs and teabaggers just plug their ears and scream “Socialistsocialistdeathpanelsgumminttakeover1/6economySOCIALIST!!11!!1ARRGHHHH!!!” that much louder.

    But I think your analogy will kick in once the bill is actually passed and the shouting about this will die down and then start back up again about financial regulation, immigration reform and greenhouse gas regulations. Can’t wait.

  6. In the very liberal neighborhood where I work, some right-wing commando struck during the 2008 campaign and plastered stickers on various light poles and street fixtures that said “Google FEMA Camps!” The other day I found one still surviving on an out of the way surface. I was overcome with a remembrance of the crazy time before Obama was elected, when people were saying it would mean guns would be made illegal and he and Nancy Pelosi would start sending Republicans to internal concentration camps. People were actually warning about stuff like that, and not just crazies with stickers.

    Now I wonder if the even crazy guy with the stickers worries about it anymore.

    Or, in other words, to misappropriate the words of R.E.M., HCR is ‘the end of the world as we know it’ according to the GOP, but ‘I feel fine.’

    I look forward to the day I hear a Republican trying to take credit for it — it will mean that it has finally gotten done.

  7. On the contrary, voting against healthcare reform is actually brilliant democratic strategy.

    Since no Republican will ever consider voting for a Democrat, a vote against healthcare reform will ensure very few Democrats will either. This will allow the non-vote of the Republican to be cancelled out by the non-vote of the Democrat, ensuring an easy victory.

    It’s all based on quantum physics or something, which is historically underutilized in elections.

    On the other hand, if anti-HCR dems are hoping to pick up actual GOP votes, they are simply morons (yeah, that means you Davis). And that’s based on the concept of addition, which HAS historically been used quite a bit in elections.

  8. I know I should read all these articles or something – but I don’t want to – so what’s the headline? Is HCR passing this week? Obviously Doug Hughes’ great comment summarizes how we should all feel about the bill, its better than nothing right?

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