Thanks, Chuck Schumer, for stepping all over those of us whose lives are saved by the Affordable Care Act. Your cynicism is truly stunning.
The Washington Post has a report about the speech Senator "Democratic Messaging" delivered Thursday at the National Press Club:
"After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus. But unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health-care reform."
Schumer, who voted for the health-care law and has championed it, suggested that he voiced similar concerns to colleagues back when the law was being crafted but was overruled by others who saw the moment as the best possible chance to reshape the nation's health-care system.
"We should have done it. We just shouldn't have done it first," he said of what is considered by many Democrats to be President Obama's signature accomplishment.
Why was it a blown call? Because only one-third of the people benefitting from the ACA are registered to vote.
The Affordable Care Act was aimed at the 36 million Americans who were uncovered. It has been reported that only a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote. In 2010, only about 40 percent of those registered voted, so even if the uninsured kept with that rate (which they likely did not) you would still only be talking about 5 percent of the electorate. To aim a huge change in mandate at such a small percentage of the electorate made no political sense. So when Democrats focused on health care, the average middle class person thought “the Democrats are not paying enough attention to me.”
This middle class registered voter says "screw you, Senator Schumer." Some things you do because they are the right and moral thing to do, not because they increase your electoral prospects.
By the way, the biggest issue any of us had with the ACA was the crappy messaging put out by Dems. No Democrat could actually be bothered to defend it, except for the President who set it as a priority. And who was it who was in charge of messaging? Yep, that's right. Senator Chuck Schumer. Mr. Self-Serving Cynic himself.
Congratulations, Chuck Schumer! You earn this Democrat's Middle Finger of the Day.
Note: Not everyone agrees with me, including Steve M., whose insights I usually agree with. It's really easy to look back in hindsight and say shouldda, wouldda, couldda. But here's the thing. Eric Holder could just as easily have prosecuted Wall Street bankers, and that would have gone a long way toward building some goodwill with the middle class too. It's easy to say we shouldn't have focused on health care until you're one of the people who has no access.
I'll say it again. Obamacare saved our lives, and especially our son's. It continues to do it. Which matters more? Lives or votes?