WaPo's Sargent Doesn't Get Why Americans Reject Costs of Obamacare

WaPo's Sargent Doesn't Get Why Americans Reject Costs of Obamacare

Have you ever walked into a shop with a child and had them lead youaround to all the things they are sure you desperately need? 

Sometimes theseare odd trinkets of no real interest, but occasionally they may suggest something genuinely appealing. You move closer to admire an item, perhapseven pick it up with a thought of bringing it home. But at some point inyour perusal you do what children don’t–flip the thing over and check theprice. The question isn’t whether you like it; it’s whether you like itthat much.

I bring this up because liberals are still having a hard timeunderstanding how people could be so fond of elements of the Affordable CareAct, aka Obamacare, and yet so un-fond of the law as a whole and theindividual mandate in particular. Case in point, this piece by theWashington Post‘s Greg Sargent:

There’s no denying that public opinion did not turn around onhealth reform as many of us predicted it would. But Clifford Young, themanaging director for Ipsos polling, has an interesting new piece up thatargues that the questions surrounding public opinion on health reform aremuch more complicated than they first appear.

Young points to Ipsos numbers that find the individual provisions in thelaw still remain overwhelmingly popular. The upshot is that nine of thebill’s major provisions – from the ban on discrimination against people withpreexisting conditions, to the creation of insurance exchanges, to theextension of insurance to young adults up to the age of 26 – are supportedby anywhere from 67 percent to 87 percent of Americans.

The individual mandate, meanwhile, is what remains overwhelminglyunpopular, with only 35 percent supporting it.

Sargent spends the rest of his post wondering how to reconcile thesefacts and what it will mean for Democrats in the 2012 elections. But there’sno mystery here; at least I don’t think there is. People like all sorts ofwonderful ideas for reforming health care, like having children on insurancepolicies up to age 26 and preventing preexisting conditions from playing arole in coverage. It sounds great. And then you flip the thing over and lookat the price: individual mandate. Hmmmm–do I want it that much?Probably not.

Democrats are like children let loose in a shop. They have a great timepicking out expensive gifts they are sure you’ll love, but when you get tothe register you still have to swipe it on your own credit card. And, eventually, you’ll have to pay the bill.