Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is ObamaCare a losing issue for Democrats?

Tevi Troy at The Corner: "The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is pursuing a full-scale effort against the Republican’s planned repeal vote of the Obama health-care law. As I argue in this month’s Commentary, the Democrats are continuing to operate under the misperception that health care is a winning political issue for them, despite considerable and continuing evidence to the contrary. New York Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner recently acknowledged losing “round one” of the health-care debate to the Republicans. It’s not clear why Democrats think that things will go better for them in round two."

Two possible answers:

* There have been similar conservative freak-outs over the decades about previous entitlement programs. We've all heard Ronald Reagan's 1960s speech about the socialistic perils of Medicare; it blew over, and is a relatively uncontroversial part of the American fabric. History has tended to be on the side of Democrats on these issues.

* There's also the possibility that a lot of Democrats simply think that universal health insurance is the right thing to do, for a host of reasons. My impression on the day of the big vote was that a number of Democratic congressmen knew they were throwing away their career with their vote. They did it anyway -- and despite some real flaws in the bill itself -- hopeful that history will one day judge them the ultimate winners.

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