June 30, 2012 Arlington VA
Perhaps he won a battle to lose a war....
- Is this good for the American Public as a whole?
- Is the win sustainable, both in the election upcoming, and over the longer term?
These are very serious questions, and they require very serious answers.
In the first case, the certainty of benefit for the public as a whole is not at all settled. The Christian Science Monitor, just this morning, in an article titled, Healthcare reform law: How Supreme Court ruling affects families, seems to differ from the administration on its effects.
They take a 'typical' family of four, and say, "Consider a working-age family of four, with an income of $60,000 and no earner covered by an employer-based health plan. According to a "health reform subsidy calculator" created by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks US healthcare policies, this family would reap a tax subsidy of $9,308 if they buy insurance in 2014. That would cover most of a total premium cost of $14,245, perhaps putting health insurance within the family's financial reach."
"Without the "stick" of an individual mandate, this "carrot" might not prompt as many households to fully insure themselves. To take the family in the example just given, they would still face a sizable premium (nearly $5,000), plus the prospect of additional out-of-pocket expenses, capped for this family at $6,250."
"For comparison, the typical US household in 2010 had total spending of $48,109, with $3,157 of that for health care, according to a survey by the US Labor Department"
Those figures sound ominous, and they are only the start of the analysis (Which should really have been done much earlier) which will be flooding the airways over the next two or three months, and may significantly affect the election. The Obama Administration has no real idea of the total costs, other than their own projections, mostly provided by the Insurance Companies, and they have not tried in any meaningful way to develop their own factual estimates.
Then, there is the political reality. Some number of Democrats have already told Obama's campaign people they don't want him in their state, or supporting their re-election bids. over 20 Democrat members of the House voted for Holder's conviction on contempt of Congress; THAT IS UNUSUAL IN AN ELECTION YEARS, EVEN WITH THE NRA AND OTHER BREATHING DOWN THEIR NECK. This will be tight election for many in their states, both House and Sentate, and few see Obama as a help in their campaigns.
The town of Durham, New Hampshire has already told the Obama Campaign to say home, unless the campaign will pay the local security and support costs. This is another thing virtually unheard of in a presidential campaign, but it reflects perhaps a growing trend that could hurt Obama, whose campaign is short of cash to pay bills such as this.
Obamacare is unpopular with a majority of the people outside the Washington Beltway. Polls are consistently seeing majority percentages, no matter how slim, that say a good part of the public does not want implementation of the law. How that will be reflected in the November election is yet to be seen, but both Congressmen and Senators are quickly distancing themselves from it other than Pelosi and Reid, who are stuck with it in their baggage. That also does not bode well for the president.
Finally,. when all is said and done, the Supreme Court majority basically trashed the Obama arguments for upholding the law, relying instead on a brief remark by the Solicitor General in oral arguments that the mandate penalty could be considered a tax. The Obama administration has consistently said it is not a tax, as has the Congress, but their argument before the Court changed all that. Some would argue that the Chief Justice simply gave them what they asked for, and it is the president who has to get himself out of the mess the Solicitor General created.
Obama has been arguing that taxes would not go up--just like George HW Bush did in his re-election effort. How this will play with the public is unknown, but more taxes, and more [pressure on small businesses who would have to provide health care or pay the 'tax' is not going to help the fragile economic upturn sustain itself.
Bottom line: I think Obama got what he wanted, but will be in big trouble in November, as the 'real' information on his socialist medicine approach finally comes out and people realize how much it will hurt them and their family. Ipredict numbers will pay the penalty rather than pay the inflated costs of healthcare that are coming, and the Emergency Rooms will be flooded by those that now have a right to care.