The PJ Tatler

Selling ObamaCare

Ben Domenech was one of three conservatives he managed to find at a 500-person ObamaCare seminar, and here’s a little something from his report:

The concern over rate shock is tangible and real. My presentation focused on this issue, and the attendees responded with an outpouring of personal stories about how skeptical they are that young and healthy people will sign up. Two mothers, both liberal health policy activists, described how hard they had to work to convince their 25 and 26 year old sons to sign up for insurance at all (“but mom, it’s more than $100 a month!”). The audience laughed when I quoted from the recent piece from Timothy Jost suggesting that young and healthy people would sign up out of a sense of social obligation.

Third, there is an abiding sense of frustration that the work of implementing has been difficult and is behind schedule, but the real problem is the public relations side – for which they blame the administration. Descriptions of PR failings and frustration among the law’s supporters are everywhere. John Iglehart, founder of Health Affairs, described last night his frustration that the Obama administration has not approached the promotional efforts for the law with the same degree of investment and verve as the president’s campaign for re-election, and openly questioned whether this could prove to be the law’s undoing.

The reason Obama has given up trying to sell the American people on his health care law is that we aren’t buying. We weren’t buying it during the big push to get it passed in 2009-10, and we haven’t bought it since. The laughter from the crowd at the event indicates that not even Democrats are buying it. They’ll tell pollsters they support it — weakly — but then they laugh at the idea that young people will actually buy in.

And that’s all before next year’s sticker shock really hits home.

Read Ben’s whole report, but the feeling I get is that Hillary will run in 2016 as the right candidate to fix what Obama broke. Of course, she’s the one who couldn’t get her own massive health care takeover bill passed in 1993-94, which ought to detract from her message.