The New York Times wonders why ObamaCare is so politically toxic and it misses the point.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt established Social Security, he created generations of loyal Democrats. When Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law, he built on that legacy, particularly with older Americans. And when George W. Bush instituted a new prescription drug benefit for Medicare, it helped reclaim elderly voters for Republicans.
But President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the $1.4 trillion effort to extend health insurance to all Americans, is challenging the traditional calculus about government benefits and political impact.
The difference is between what ObamaCare was sold as and what it really does.Social Security and Medicare buried costs and provided benefits to groups not previously on them.
ObamaCare does the opposite. It dumps its costs on everyone while limiting its benefits primarily to those who are already on the Democratic Party plantation.
Congressmen expected a whole bunch of people to fall in love with ObamaCare. Instead a lot of angry people have been forced to pay more for health insurance, others have gone through the hassle of shifting over insurance, and traditional Dem bases have signed up for Medicaid.
ObamaCare is a giveaway to Obama voters at the expense of a broader middle class that has already been squeezed too tight. And that’s a political problem.
“I think it is viewed more as a social welfare program than a social insurance program, but that’s not right because it is social insurance,” Mr. Axelrod said.
But that’s exactly what it is. And unlike other welfare programs, it does a poor job of hiding it, and it hijacks something that used to be a tad more equal, and transforms it into a mandatory welfare program.
In a New York Times/CBS News poll in December, just 17 percent of whites said the health law would help them while 41 percent said it would hurt; among blacks, 42 percent said it would help them while 15 percent predicted it would hurt. Four in 10 whites and blacks said it would have no effect on them.
And there you go.
This isn’t a racial animus. It’s not about Obama. It’s about the bottom line. ObamaCare is welfare. It takes from those who work and gives to those who don’t.
It’s not just about race. It’s about the gap between the dependent and the independent. The people who support themselves and the people who take out more than they put in.
And the latter already vote Democrat.