Five Silver Linings of ObamaCare
Now that we are seven months removed from the fight over the single largest expansion of government in US history, it’s a good time to take stock and point out some silver linings.
In a perverse sort of way, ObamaCare may be the best thing that could have come out of Obama’s first term as President. Had he and the Democrat leadership opted to push a more limited program that only extended to those who couldn’t afford health insurance, Americans may have gone for it, thus locking in yet another entitlement program that would metastasize beyond its original scope. But by overreaching they made the water so hot that the frog of public opinion can’t wait to leap out.
#1: It will eventually result in real conservative health care reform
The direct result of passage of the bill was the creation of a massive issue for opposition to organize around. So massive in fact that it may ensure that it will eventually be overturned in its entirety and replaced with a more market driven reform, something conservatives probably would have been otherwise unable to achieve without ObamaCare.
Democrats theorized that, as time progressed, the controversy would subside and Americans would come to like what the Democrats had done for them. Not so. The majority of the public saw passage of the bill in the face of massive opposition as an exercise in arrogance. A recent Rasmussen survey shows that fifty-one percent of Americans believe the new law will be bad for the county, and fifty-six percent favor its outright repeal.
In other words, the public is having the same reaction to ObamaCare that a body does when faced with an infection. It fights it.
#2: The Democrats lost their advantage on the health care issue
ObamaCare has done for politics what it was intended to do for health care: changed things fundamentally.
When it comes to how voters view the parties on specific issues, health care has always been a Democrat stronghold. No longer. Prior to the 2006 election when Democrats took control of Congress, the Gallup poll put trust of either party on the health care issue at sixty-four percent for Democrats and twenty-five percent for Republicans; a thirty-nine percent advantage for Democrats. After ObamaCare, the same question shows Democrats at forty-three percent and Republicans at forty-two – an incredible thirty-eight point swing.
Thanks to ObamaCare, it’s a different world.
This explains Politico’s recent report that not one single Democrat that voted for the bill is running ads in their re-election campaigns taking credit for it.
#3: It has invigorated the Republican Party
Part of the massive opposition to ObamaCare is represented by the Tea Party movement, which is going a long way not only towards helping Republicans in their quest to retake Congress, but also in making the GOP itself far more conservative by filling the grassroots ranks of the party with activists who will hold elected Republicans accountable to conservative principles, (rather than reverting to old drunken sailor on payday tendencies).
Further, ObamaCare (along with the stimulus) has served to better highlight the philosophical differences between the parties in the minds of voters. Something Republicans weren’t much able to accomplish by themselves in recent years.
#4: It’s the political gift that keeps on giving
As conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt wrote, “The new system will suffer a tsunami of bad publicity when states sue the federal government over unfunded mandates, when the IRS begins enforcing the aspects of the bill that voters never knew existed, when small businesses start firing employees because they cannot afford the higher costs of the new system, when new and unforeseen costs blow out the already record federal budget deficit, and when seniors begin to feel the impact of Medicare cuts. …”
In other words, to paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, when people begin finding out what’s in it.
#5: It provides a stark example of the failure of liberalism
The bottom line is that the bill is creating problems for Americans that didn’t have problems to begin with. And given the far reaching nature of health care, it means that all Americans will be hit over the head with a stark – and personal – example of the failure of liberalism.
That may be the ultimate silver lining.