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Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:44 PM

The Individual Mandate albatross: Whole packages only as popular as their least popular provision

Percent of people (including Republicans) who support banning insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions: 82%
Percent of people (including Democrats) who strongly oppose the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act: 61%
Viewed as a whole, percent of people who support the Affordable Care Act: 44%
Who oppose: 56%


I don't expect the Supreme Court to strike down the Individual Mandate. It's too big of a bonus to the 1%, and we all know how much the Roberts Court LOVES them some 1%-ers. But, I'm not at all interested in this horse race. I'm much more interested in how we got here, and what we can do differently in the future.

To that end, I think this short article below is valuable. The stats above were lifted from it.

-- brook

What Ballot Initiative Campaigns Teach Us About the Popularity of the ACA
http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2012/06/25/what-ballot-initiative-campaigns-teach-us-about-the-popularity-of-the-aca/

If you talk to people who have run a few ballot initiative campaigns, they will tell you that it is very important to get the language perfect. A ballot initiative may contain a lot of popular provisions, but one unpopular provision can easily cause it to be voted down by the people. The electorate can’t separately decide on the individual components; it is forced to accept or reject the whole package. Often initiatives are only as popular as their least popular provision. It’s the weak link that breaks the chain.

We have seen the same basic dynamic at play with the lack of popular support for the Affordable Care Act. Once again a new Reuter-Ipsos poll confirms that there are many provision in the ACA that enjoy broad bipartisan support. For example 82 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support banning insurers from denying coverage based on pre-exisiting conditions. The problem is that the law doesn’t only contain this popular provision. It also contains highly unpopular ones, like the individual mandate, which this poll found is opposed by 61 percent of Americans.

Voters judge the whole law as a single package, but the unpopular provisions tend to be given more weight in people’s total analysis than the popular ones. As a result of some deeply unpopular provisions dragging down overall support, only 44 back the law as a whole, while 56 percent oppose.

The whole law isn’t unpopular despite containing popular provisions because, as some claim, Republicans brilliantly won the message war. It doesn’t mean people are making blind partisan decisions because of the name “Obamacare.” Obama is after all much more popular than Obamacare. It also doesn’t mean people are against the law because they are ignorant of the “good things” in the law or don’t understand the trade offs. A Washington Post poll found just 42 percent want the Supreme Court to throw out the entire law, but when told throwing out the whole law was the only way to get rid of the mandate, support for complete repeal jumped to 55 percent.

(snip)

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Reply The Individual Mandate albatross: Whole packages only as popular as their least popular provision (Original post)
nashville_brook Jun 2012 OP
xchrom Jun 2012 #1
nashville_brook Jun 2012 #2
xchrom Jun 2012 #4
nashville_brook Jun 2012 #8
DirkGently Jun 2012 #3
nashville_brook Jun 2012 #5
DirkGently Jun 2012 #6
nashville_brook Jun 2012 #7
nashville_brook Jun 2012 #9
DirkGently Jun 2012 #10
Raine Jun 2012 #11

Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 09:17 PM

1. 1 thing you have to hand to repukes is this: they fear no message war &

They don't care how long that message war is drawn out.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 09:37 PM

2. did anyone really believe what Roberts said to get approval for his nomination...that he,

would follow precedent? not be an activist whackjob?

no -- they just didn't want a fight and his bullshit answers gave them enough political cover to cast their votes and "move on."

so, why are Democrats unwilling to fight for what is right?

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 09:53 PM

4. The answers I have for your question aren't pretty. Nt

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Response to xchrom (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 08:00 AM

8. my sense of it isn't pretty either.

but then again, i wonder how many even consider "the public good" a viable notion anymore. i think most practicing pols see that as an antiquated notion -- fundraising is all that matters anymore. and hell, we don't even have money enough to put food on the table, keep our kids in school and have decent housing. We The People, are not on anyone's radar.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 09:46 PM

3. This is what you reap when you adopt Republican policy propositions

The individual mandate IS the Republican healthcare reform proposal -- from a few years ago. Obama's people apparently thought Republicans would be boxed in when confronted with their own approach, completely underestimating their willingness to perform (and the public's willingness to accept) a complete reversal with zero explanation. It was their idea, but now it's the Worst Thing Ever, plus ... COMMUNISM!

Could the mandate work? Sure, and we'd be far better off with the whole package than without it, but the individual mandate is a patented Republican gift to private insurance, which is the core of the entire healthcare problem. Profit motive and life-and-death human services just don't work. We can regulate them as much as we want, but at the end of the day, they'll still be trying to give the least care for the most money.

It's a classic triangulation fail. Instead of rope-a-doping Republican rhetoric while still currying favor with rich corporations as the administration planned, now we might lose absolutely necessary and beneficial healthcare reform because we freed Republicans to decry their own tacky plan to guarantee insurance company profit in perpetuity.

Maybe at some point here, we'll learn to stop picking up Republican turds and trying to convince ourselves they taste good.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:05 PM

5. the bet was that GOP would fold under pressure from big $$ insurers/pharma/etc

that, the "real constituency" of 1%-er campaign donors would do the heavy lifting to put the Republicans back in their box.

when this was happening (behind closed doors, no less) we jumped up and down trying to get the party to see it was a mistake. but we don't matter. we don't cut checks, and that seems to impair their hearing.

Cenk is absolutely right about this, as are you: you can't work with Republicans b/c they don't operate on the same principles that we do. there's no "good faith." there's no "compromise." there's winning at all costs, by any means...and by "winning" they mean to crush The People into dust until there's nothing left b/c apparently nothing short of this will satisfy their Dark Donorlords.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:08 PM

6. Exactly. Gingrich told us. They want to destroy liberals, not work with them.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:48 PM

7. and we've got to stop helping them do that.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 12:57 PM

9. classic Third Way fail

and i say this as someone who regrettably bought into Clinton's New Dem paradigm.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 08:22 PM

10. Now Romney's trying to pre-squawk that if

the mandate goes, the entire first term was "wasted." Well, no, but way to give them that club to wave around.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 09:01 PM

11. Yes, exactly nt

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