Gratifying, especially since the number just a month ago was 44 percent.
But it’s a little late for this now, no?
That’s how people respond when they’re asked if implementation should be delayed for a year “until more details are ironed out.” In literally every demographic, more support delay than oppose it — and among different age demographics, O’s ostensible base of adults under age 35 is the most likely to want a time out. Hmmmm.
But what good is it now? There’s no way people who’ve already signed up, especially people with preexisting conditions, are going to have the rug pulled out from under them by some sort of retroactive delay that rescinds their enrollments. It’d be a political nightmare. Nor realistically could insurers decide to close down enrollment early to new applicants while keeping people who’ve already signed up on the books. How would that work? After spending three years carefully designing new plans to comply with O-Care requirements, they’re supposed to toss it all out the window and resurrect plans they offered before the law took effect? The objection to Obama’s cynical announcement last month about letting insurance companies un-cancel plans is that it created a logistical nightmare for the industry that it hadn’t planned for. Delaying the law now would compound that nightmare by giving O’s “suggestion” the force of law, extending it to millions of new consumers, and it’d wreak havoc with next year’s risk pools by eliminating the incentive created by the mandate for “young invincibles” to sign up.
And judging by the new NYT/CBS poll, that incentive already looks shaky. Here’s what happens when you ask the uninsured whether they’ve signed up yet:
The sexy number there is 58 percent claiming that, despite two and half months of publicity and an enrollment deadline that’s now just four days away, nearly 60 percent haven’t even paid attention to O-Care. I think the 32 percent figure is just as revealing, though. Roughly 40 percent of Americans without insurance did indeed look into signing up — and more than three-quarters of them decided to pass after they did? Good lord. What lesson about supposedly affordable care should we draw from that?
Back to the Fox News poll. Delay isn’t the only metric where young voters are surprisingly cool to The One. This seems significant:
No surprise that everyone would be more skeptical these days about a man who was just crowned Liar of the Year, but I wouldn’t have guessed that adults under age 35 would lead the pack age-wise. Can Democrats resist public pressure to do something about O-Care when even some of their core constituencies are asking for relief?
Actually, maybe they can:
Even now, after months of terrible media coverage and endless rhetoric from the GOP about repeal, the number who think the law will stay on the books is more or less the same as it was two and a half years ago. You can read that in one of two ways. Optimistically, it’s a sign that disaffected voters might be ready to hand the GOP a big win next November. If you think repeal is unlikely, it’s all the more important to send as many pro-repeal legislators to Congress as possible. Pessimistically, it’s proof of complacency: Voters dislike ObamaCare and would be happy to see it suspended for a while, but they’re resigned to the fact that it’s just not going to happen. (In fact, that includes some grassroots conservatives, no? If you believe that the GOP will never have the stones to blow up O-Care, even if they have the numbers, then you’re in the 54 percent.) And what makes the complacency worse, of course, is that there’s no bipartisan consensus on what to do if/when the law is ultimately repealed. Lefties, remember, are becoming more bold about seeking a more statist solution to the problem. And even if both sides kinda sorta agree that a delay would be useful, they agree for dramatically different reasons. Republicans want delay because it’s easier to kill a law later if the public hasn’t gotten used to it yet. Grassroots Democrats want delay because they really do want O to have more time to get the bugs worked out and then to re-launch with a clean slate. How many liberals who participated in this poll would change their minds if they came to understand that delay might very well mean doom for O-Care?