Please don’t misunderstand. She is most assuredly not suggesting that Obamacare isn’t working fabulously as is. Like the president, the House Minority Leader believes the new law is working “the way it’s supposed to,” a sentiment shared by a minuscule fraction of the public. To drive home this point, she beams that the law is “beautiful,” and that Healthcare.gov is finally “well” — even as crucial elements that impact consumers have yet to be built. Come to think of it, Pelosi tells Ezra Klein, the Obamacare rollout (!) is pretty compelling evidence of Democrats’ strong record on governance:
This line of thinking is roughly akin to that guy who recently cited…Benghazi as Hillary Clinton’s biggest accomplishment. Points for sheer, shameless balls, if nothing else. Democrats find themselves torn between two O-Care narratives, which exist in tension with one another. Safe liberals like Pelosi can cheerfully indulge the delusion of Obamacare’s glittering success, while more vulnerable members and candidates seek refuge in the “fix it, don’t nix it” camp. In a nod to reality, Pelosi acknowledges there may be some elements to “improve upon,” prompting Klein to ask for an example or two:
PELOSI: I had some of my own suggestions that I couldn’t get through in the first round…
KLEIN: How would you like to see it improved?
PELOSI: Well of course I wanted single-payer, and I wanted a public option. But that not being in the mix, uh, you have to prioritize what it is you want to get over the finish line. And now let’s refine and improve — and some of that relates to how it is implemented, so you see how it is implemented.
The phrase “first round” is telling. Obamacare has never been the end game for elite lefties, and they haven’t been especially shy about saying so — even though they occasionally squeal about “smears” if you read back their own verbatim quotes. Pelosi understands that a full-blown government system isn’t “in the mix” at the moment, so she concedes that settling for Statist incrementalism is the only viable path forward. I couldn’t quite follow her tautological mumbling about implementation, but I think she’s offering a new spin on her infamous “pass it to find out what’s in it” insight. The gist: People need to see Obamacare’s success more clearly, so they can better appreciate the greatness that lies within. It’s basically a clumsy iteration of one of the president’s favorite tropes: The law’s enduring unpopularity is a function of a messaging problem, not of substantive flaws. Speaking of public opinion, so many ignorant ingrates, so little time before November:
President Barack Obama celebrated when sign-ups for his health care law topped 8 million, far exceeding expectations after a slipshod launch. Most Americans, however, remain unimpressed. A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that public opinion continues to run deeply negative on the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature effort to cover the uninsured. Forty-three percent oppose the law, compared with just 28 percent in support. The pattern illustrates why the health care law remains a favored target for Republicans seeking a Senate majority in the midterm elections.
Underwater by 15 points, as per usual. Also, new Obamacare enrollments have neither “topped 8 million” nor “exceeded expectations.” Oddly, the media’s attempts to cobble together a “winning streak” storyline have failed to catch fire with the public. How is that possible? I’m afraid I couldn’t possibly even begin to untangle such a vexing, impossible riddle. Perhaps some of these people might have a few thoughts. Parting thought: For a party that’s so heavily invested in the “fix Obamacare” message, it’s remarkable how ill-prepared leading Democrats have been to field questions about specific fixes. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t name a single change she’d support on MSNBC, and now here’s Pelosi rambling vaguely about refinements, or whatever. The only thing she seems to know with any degree of certainty is that single-payer is her dream fix, with Harry Reid evidently on board with that eventuality, too. Do 2014 Democrats agree with their party’s leadership that the best way to repair Obamacare is to hand the entire system over to a federal bureaucracy, a la the VA? That question ought to be posed to every Democrat in America — and if they claim to dissent from the Reid/Pelosi line, they should be asked explain how they’d overcome the impulses of their own party’s leadership. How has that effort gone for, say, Senators Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich on energy policy, for instance?