Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and I’d say its future is looking pretty bright. Here’s why:
Opponents of reform fall into two groups: people who don’t know what the law does, and people who don’t care what it does.
Let’s take the second group first. It consists of gullible Tea Party-types and the (mostly) Republican politicians who fear them. These people don’t do “policy”. They live in a parallel universe of anger and confusion, where Barack Obama is a Kenyan socialist who wants to take away their precious right to be abused by corporations. This group is not getting larger. Indeed, it’s likely that in the coming months, its more intelligent members will quietly rediscover reality and quit teabagging altogether.
The other group of Obamacare opponents — the uninformed — is the more important one. Most Americans have only the vaguest notion of what their government is up to, particularly on complicated issues. Fortunately, as we get closer to 2014 — when the really good stuff in health care reform kicks in — they’ll start noticing who’s on their side and who isn’t. At that point, look for the teabaggers, under the leadership of Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann, to reach DEFCON 5 levels of paranoid hysteria.
Republican politicians will then throw the Tea Party under the bus, Newt Gingrich will claim that Obamacare was actually his idea, and the rest of us can sit back and enjoy another conservative crack-up.
At least that’s how things should go down.