27 January 2012

Selling the ACA, 2 years too late

This is a cute and informative video about the health care reform act:

My favorite drawing is this, of economist Jon Gruber about to be crushed by the ogre of uncontrolled health care spending:

Gruber ogre

In fact, I think this will be my new twitter avatar.

Still, it would have been nice to have seen more of this sort of education and messaging two years ago when public opinion regarding the ACA was more malleable. Now people's ideas are pretty well set, hardened in part by their partisan stances. I was shocked to see that 55% of Americans now think that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. This is evidence, I think, of how effective the impassioned rhetoric from the opponents of the ACA has been in shifting the way the law is viewed. I don't think that many people have done a deep dive into Wickard v Filburn and come to this conclusion on their own; I suspect that more have been influenced by the persistent and angry denunciations of the mandate by its many opponents, with flaccid or nonexistent defenses of the law from its supporters. Consider, by the way, that when the court challenges were filed against the ACA's mandate, it was considered hopeless by legal observers; now we are truly a coin flip away from its invalidation. That's how far the frame has shifted, and it's entirely due to the effective case that has been made by conservatives and the failure of defenders of the law to respond.

Hopefully, this will be moot. If SCOTUS doesn't decide to overturn decades of precedent, and if Obama does manage to win re-election, the law will be completely implemented. In that case, I suspect it will becomes less of a partisan football, and we can maybe move beyond repeal to more productive arguments.  I can dream, can't I?


  1. I don't think the left has failed to present this case. I think this argument is pretty familiar, and that Obama and Co. have stated it pretty consistently. The problem is when your opponents fundamentally can't be persuaded by argument or facts or any other rational exercise.

  2. The ACA tells insurance companies that there is a strict limit to what they can charge, that they have to insure everyone at that price - even if they show up at the door needing millions in care, and finally it tells them that there is no limit to what they have to spend. It limits what they can bring in, and takes all limits off what they are required to spend.

    The ACA is clearly designed to put private insurance companies out of business and make a "public option" the only option.

    It will work, and it may even deliver good health care, but to say that it is not a government takeover is an outright lie. The other lie in this is that it will reduce the deficit. Closer to the truth is that is may reduce the rate at which the deficit grows if everything goes as planned. Even this won;t happen, there is no example of a government program operating as planned or costing what was projected. Instead this will likely be a massive increase in deficit spending, as well as in taxation - and just just for you in the 1%.

    @James P., nothing in that cartoon argues facts, it argues opinions and projections based on opinions. Those opinions my fit in nicely with your, they may even turn out to be more or less correct, but they are not facts.

  3. Please show me where in the US Constitution that permits the government to mandate that an individual purchase a product (any product, not just healthcare). I'm waiting....

    BTW, have you chosen what gun you'll buy once congress mandates that every American buy one?

    I think that 55% of Americans (and I believe that it was even more than that prior to the "passage," I mean ramming through of that monstrosity) are smarter than the Communist, I mean "Progressive" Left in realizing what an awful assault on our liberty and national financial crisis this is.


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