This morning, I was reading Jonathan Chait about, The Obamacare Opposite-of-a-Train-Wreck Scenario. In it, he argued that even though next year’s implementation of Obama will likely have problems, these will be trumped by the fact that many millions of people will finally get health insurance. For a man who is too often mired in the middle, he is very blunt, “To the extent that the implementation brouhaha comes into any focus, it will shine a light on those people’s struggle to get needed help from the government. Republicans aren’t trying to get those people better help. They’re trying to screw them.”
As usual, I got to thinking about this. I remembered all of the brouhaha from conservatives about immigration reform. “We will be creating 11 million citizens who will all vote Democratic!” (Well, I guess they would say, “Democrat.”) I understand the concern and I’ve even argued that Republicans should not be fore immigration reform, given that they are unwilling to do anything else to court the immigrant vote. Maybe the Republicans are doing the same kind of calculation with Obamacare.
What am I thinking? We know that poor people don’t live as long as rich people. Part of that has to be due to the lack of good healthcare throughout their lives. By providing health insurance to everyone, the poor will live longer. The poor are overwhelmingly liberal. Therefore, Obamacare will make more liberals!
I know this sounds fanciful. And in truth, it is possible that the Republicans have not thought of this. There are, after all, a lot of reasons they hate Obamacare. The most fundamental one is that they think that the poor are morally inferior and they don’t believe in helping them at all. But Obamacare is clearly a good political strategy for the Democrats and poison for the Republicans.