It seems the Obama administration saw the writing on the wall after the Obamacare oral arguments ended. According to a Politico report, the administration has spent “at least $2.7 billion since oral arguments in the case ended on March 28” on Obamacare, which is “more than double the amount that was handed out in the three-month period leading up to the arguments.” A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human services told Politico that there was nothing to see here, because these funds had been in the pipeline.
The timing, though, is curious and important, because Obamacare funds “would dry up” if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, but money that is spent before the ruling “won’t have to be repaid, most likely.”
There is an obvious political reason for this — to try to make Obamacare more popular even as it becomes one of the only pieces of such broad legislation that has become more unpopular the more people hear about. Usually, when legislation is passed, those who become dependent on it do not want parts that they like taken away from them, and with Obamacare, provisions that have been implemented — like allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26 years of age — have polled better than other provisions, like the individual mandate, that have yet to be enacted.
Since most of Obamacare’s provisions do not get implemented until 2014, most of the public has not had an opportunity to be dependent on various parts of it, and, with this increase in funding, the Obama administration is trying to accelerate people’s dependence on various aspects of the law to try to make it more popular.
According to an Associated Press/GFK Roper Public Affairs poll conducted June 14-18, only 33 percent of those polled supported Obamacare, and 47 percent outright disapproved. Among independents, that number is worse, and the more independents learn about Obamacare, the more they dislike it. Only 21 percent support the bill and over 50 percent disapprove of it, the first time disapproval among independents of Obamacare has gone above 50 percent since October, according to the poll.
The poll also found, though, that “three-fourths of Americans want their political leaders to undertake a new effort, rather than leave the health care system alone, if the court rules against the law.”
Well aware of this, the Obama administration is doing their best to dole out various benefits of Obamacare to make the argument, if Obamacare is struck down, that they are getting a jumpstart on a “new effort” and, like the President’s action on deportations, assert that these benefits will be immediately taken away with a Republican administration.
It’s pure big government, Chicago-style politics.