Walker on Obamacare: Correct identification of symptoms, wrong diagnosis
It is amazing that the Democratic base claims they would be unhappy with getting everything they supposedly wanted from the new law (subsidies, ban on recession, ban on pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion) just because the Court eliminated only the highly unpopular individual mandate.
It is important to remember that exactly four years ago then candidate Obama was running against the idea of an individual mandate. The individual mandate to purchase private insurance was a traditional, Republican/Conservative idea opposed by many Democrats and liberals (who presumably preferred more universal public programs). The Court striking down only the mandate would actually make the Affordable Care Act more, not less, like the health care reform program Obama originally promised. Yet apparently making the law more like the health care program Obama promised would still leave most Democrats unhappy.
The mandate went from something Obama said he strongly opposed, to something Obama said he reluctantly supported to get a deal, to an essential element of the law Obama is desperately trying to protect at any cost. In their Court argument, his Administration even put the ban on pre-existing conditions and community rating in serious danger of being thrown out as well to strengthen the legal case for the mandate.
Apparently not only has Obama’s position on the mandate shifted radically, but he has managed to shift the bulk of his base’s opinion of the mandate with it. Obama’s shift and the partisan nature of this fight has caused base Democrats to develop a frankly bizarre attachment to the individual mandate.
This is a reminder of the true power of the bully pulpit.
The pulpit has no power if there's no congregation. I confess I've been skeptical of tribalism as an analytical construct (as opposed to a metaphor) but watching the contortions of Democrats supporting their Leader as he does everything Bush did, and worse, has sold me. Live and learn! The great Arthur Silber.