4:42 PM CDT, June 20, 2012
Back when President Obama's health care reform was making its way through Congress, there was a lot of discussion of its various provisions. But since it became law, its actual content has been lost in the partisan warfare. Republican voters are strongly against it. But aside from the individual mandate, it's not clear they really know what it does.
This became apparent to me when former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was campaigning with Mitt Romney and asked his audience, "Have you had enough of Obamacare?" The crowd roared, "Yes!"
But what is it these voters are tired of? Most of the program hasn't taken effect yet. The individual mandate doesn't kick in till 2014. Likewise with the expansion of Medicaid eligibility. Same with the new requirement that insurers not discriminate against, or charge higher premiums to, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.
Maybe all this will be a disaster, but nobody knows for sure yet. Saying you're fed up with Obamacare is like saying you're sick of the new wild-card system in Major League Baseball. How do you know, since it hasn't arrived yet?
At this point, a lot of Republican voters detest the program not for what it does but for who got it passed. When Pawlenty asks them if they've had enough of Obamacare, he's really asking if they've had enough of Obama. They have -- but that would be true even if this program had never come into being.
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