Muftic: GOP health care woes: Failure to recognize shifting public opinion
Listening to GOP apologists on TV, their explanation for the unpopularity of the replacement plan for Obamacare is “people do not like change” or “they like the devil they know better than the devil they do not know.” Neither is true. The public has come to know both “devils” and understands the difference. The GOP in Congress has underestimated the intelligence of the public in general and they failed to understand that there has been a dramatic shift in public opinion during and since the election. Promises Republicans made then have not taken that into account. The GOP’s stubborn pursuit of keeping campaign promises as the singular motivation and strategy shaping their bills fails to realize that public opinion sands had shifted under their feet.
Polls have shown that voters’ approval of the GOP replacement plans are approved by a measly 17 to 24 percent of voters while earlier the nation was more evenly divided. The cost of health care is a fundamental pocket book, a quality of life, or even a life and death issue for those families who have low to average income. Illness and disease hit families where it hurts or could hurt. They may gripe about Obamacare, but they know it would be worse if they did not have it. The opponents of the GOP plan, ranging , from insurance companies to patient and disease related advocates to every facet of providers, and many Democratic and Republican governors have verified that their fears are justified, that the GOP plan would hurt them, their families, and their fundamental economic well-being. The expression of their fears in marches, protests, sit ins and other contacts with their Senators and Congresspeople may not have moved every GOP representative in Congress, but the message these actions convey has served to educate everyone else.
The public has also learned that there are a variety of choices besides the take it or leave it GOP bills. The menu ranges from credible ways to fix and improve Obamacare to Medicare for All. They do not have to make the choice just between Obamacare and the bitter lemon of the GOP bills to save and improve their health care coverage.
There is no free lunch in health care, and if Medicare for All is too expensive to be self funding, taxpayers will have to make up the difference.
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