Now that the dust has settled and the media hype died down, somber heads can finally prevail and - based on the Roberts Supreme Court decision yesterday - move forward on a number of fronts, including: (1) selling the benefits of the new health care law, (2) shoring up its funding, including for the critical expansion of Medicaid (to cover 17 million more people) and (3) Using (1) in combination with old Romney speeches on behalf of his "Romney care" in Massachusetts, to do an end run around this asshole's attacks (including reminding the millions of beneficiaries of the new law what they stand to lose if this guy is elected in November and tries to gut the law or repeal it as he vowed yesterday.)
Let's first grasp, as Rachel Maddow observed on her show last night, that the primary reason negative perceptions on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have abounded is because of: 1) the long lead time in getting its provisions implemented, and 2) the lackluster way the Dems have sold it since its passage.
Both of these have forged a vacuum in which the Rightists and their naysayers - whether in the blogosphere or the 24/7 cable media -talk shows, have been able to sow fear and distortions. They have essentially been able to make up virtually anything they want because the other side (that crafted the law) has been so passive in its advocacy.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts (as Maddow noted) 6 years after 'Romney care' was implemented, 98% are insured in that state, the highest proportion in any! One huge reason it succeeded was an advertising blitz campaign (some examples of which Maddow broadcast on her show) and a short lead-in time to implementation, of barely 1 year. Meanwhile, because of the manipulations of jag-off conservative Dems the provisions in Obama's health reform law had to be delayed for 4 years! (That is four years of the other side being enabled to paint it negatively).
These idiot, jag-off fifth columnists (one reason the Dems didn't REALLY have a filibuster proof supermajority despite the Right's claims to the contrary) demanded an artificial ceiling of no more than a trillion dollars to pay for it, leaving the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to be the ultimate arbiter of its costs. Since the CBO -bases its budget ratings on 10-year cycles it meant the costs could only come in under $1 trillion if 4 years of the 10 were 'subtracted". Thus, instead of starting in 2010 the main provisions had to be delayed to 2014. A terrible mistake, and costly, given how the negative PR has been ramped up against it.
Now, to make up for it, the Dems need to get off their asses and at least repeat the positive aspects of the law until blue in the face. Obama gave the model yesterday in his response speech to the Roberts decision. He for once enumerated and expatiated on the benefits, including vulnerable people not being dinged because of exceeding insurance payout limits, or other sickly people being prevented from access because of "pre-existing conditions" or young adults being prevented frmo being covered under their parents' plans. This is good, now Dems overall need to replay it and emulate it....and Obama needs to keep repeating it.
Then there was the critical Medicaid decision, which many liberals have misinterpreted. Not realizing that it was 6-3 against Medicaid expansion but two of the ones in the '6' group were 'liberals'. (Stephen Breyer and Elaine Kagan). Had those two not defected to the side of the 4 conservatives, the Medicaid expansion would have passed. So one is led to inquire why these two would take that position, and the only logical or acceptable conclusion is because they are sending a message that the tax support needs to be increased for all Americans. (See also my previous blog related to the need for higher taxation, including letting ALL the Bush tax cuts expire.)
Lastly, Dems need to wake up and realize if Romney or his jag-offs corporatists get into office the new health law will likely be pecked to death even if Romney fails to repeal it as he vowed, e.g. proclaiming like the school yard, batshit crazy bully he still is:
"I will act to repeal Obamacare from my first day as president of the United States”
As blogger Robert Scheer noted, this is "a prescription of destructive gridlock for a program already well under way." In other words, if Mitt Romney is elected Americans now so tired of gridlock won't see less of it but perhaps five times MORE! This is why I still can't believe the polls showing Romney and Obama in a dead heat. How can so many of the putative "99%" be for this corporate job exterminator, who - as reported recently in a TIME special article - dispatched even more American jobs overseas than first believed. How can any self-respecting, white (or black) working class man or woman seriously vote for this guy who will be guaranteed to make their lives a hundred times worse? It boggles the mind!
Anyway, the way to best and beat Romney when he keeps publicly vowing to end Obama's health care law is to keep showing Mitt's own speeches (avaialble via dozens of news clips from 6 years ago) promoting his own Romney care version in Massachusetts. And then also showing how that program, so reviled during the Repug debates, now features the largest percentage of insured citizens in the nation. So why the fuck is Mitt running from his success? The only answer is that the man has to posture negative reaction to appease the Tea bagger vote! But if he does that, he's not only a liar but a hypocrite! DO people - voters really want such a guy in the White House?
The way forward for Dem success is clear, and the Roberts court decision 'tea leaves' show the way. What remains is for the Dems to have the balls to use it instead of running from their shadows.