Today is the two year anniversary of the adoption of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Despite the widely promoted insane belief the that law would magically get more popular after it was passed, two years later the law has only gotten less popular. Research indicates that the intense unpopularity of the law may have even been what cost Democrats control of the House in 2010. As a result, Obama is practically hiding from this anniversary.
So instead of this week being a Democratic celebration of the law as was practically promised to rank and file House members before they voted for it, the health care news right now is dominated by discussion of how the Supreme Court will rule on the individual mandate. The mandate remains shockingly unpopular and continues to drag down support for the overall law. It is possible the mandate may be the single most unpopular major provision adopted by a party in a generation.
The political trouble that Democrats now face as a result of them passing the poorly designed law was entirely predictable two years ago. This is what I wrote exactly two years ago when Obama signed the base bill into law and Senate Democrats started debating the follow-up reconciliation bill. Jon Walker March 23, 2010:
This reconciliation bill might be the last chance for Democrats to deal with looming, politically damaging problems caused by the inclusion of an individual mandate, enforced by the IRS, which forces people to buy private insurance. Reconciliation could be used to strip the individual mandate out of the new law, or it can be used to add a public alternative, which makes the individual mandate significantly less unpopular. Foolish Democrats in the Senate seem dead set against dealing with what will likely be a toxic issue for them in November.
Just to set the record straight, during the health care fight Firedoglake was not being contrarians trying to ruin the Democrats. FDL went to incredible lengths to try to warn Democrats and stop them from making a terrible political and policy decision of historic proportions.