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Frustrated utopian Robert Owen lamented how men overlook their “true interests.” American Marxists decried the “false consciousness” of workers who stood athwart the ideas of their hirsute guru. Noam Chomsky disregarded public opinion that conflicted with his own as “manufactured consent.” Thomas Frank wrote a whole book pondering the “self-denying votes” of Americans.
The New York Times similarly finds opposition to ObamaCare rooted in bad public relations rather than bad public policy. Americans apparently just don’t know what’s best for them.
“Erika Losse is precisely the kind of person President Obama’s signature health care law is intended to help,” begins a Thursday piece in the New York Times. But the Times reporter discovers that she opposes the law. Losse’s opposition stems from the law’s decree that Americans purchase health insurance. The reporter retorts, “Never mind that Ms. Losse, who makes less than $35,000 a year, would probably qualify for subsidized insurance under the law.” The article, titled online “Distaste for Health Care Law Reflects Spending on Ads,” blames ObamaCare’s woes on money and manipulation.
The reporting reads as a running rebuttal of ObamaCare’s critics, who, the paper discovered earlier this month, wildly outnumber its advocates. A New York Times/CBS poll found 68 percent of Americans hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the law in whole (41 percent) or in part by eliminating the individual mandate (27 percent). Just 24 percent of respondents want the court to retain the law. The paper strangely buried the damning numbers for ObamaCare in paragraph 16 of an article highlighting the decline in popularity of the same body that judges the unpopular law’s constitutionality any day now.
The paper can’t criticize its pollsters. So it has gone after those polled.
With the nine justices handing down their ruling on the systemic health-care overhaul in just days, the law’s backers have gone into premature excuse-mode on why the embattled law has so few backers.
Academics Theda Skocpol and Lawrence R. Jacobs of the Scholars Strategy Network took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to insist, “The mandate brouhaha is truly much ado about almost nothing.” The professors claim that the opposition hasn’t so much as persuaded the public as it has petrified them. They write, “Enemies of reform have demonized the mandate to scare the public.”
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