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Democrats on Selling Obamacare: The Sixth Time’s the Charm

How many times have you heard Democrats claim that “this moment” will be the magical opportunity when they convince the American people to like the new health care law? The newest “opportunity” to win the public over is apparently the House Republicans’ push for repeal. From the Hill:

“Our biggest failure was that we passed a fairly moderate bill, but we allowed it to be painted as this crazy liberal monstrosity,” said Democratic pollster Stefan Hankin. “So we completely lost the moderation, and I think that’s what we have the opportunity to get back in this debate.”


Over the weekend, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats welcome the repeal debate for that very reason. During an appearance on “Meet the Press,” Schumer said the debate allows members of his party “a second chance to make a first impression.”

I have honestly lost count of the number of times Democrats publicly predicted how, after “this event,” they would somehow make their proposal popular.

After the August 2009 town halls, there was talk of changing the momentum. After big stories about huge rate hikes from private insurance companies, that was going to be the opportunity to make the case. The bipartisan summit was going to be when Democrats would take control of the debate. After the passage of the bill, I was told the popularity would magically rise. With the first new provisions, like keeping 26-year-olds on their parents’ plans and the high-risk pools kicked in, Democrats claimed, “now” the American people would see what a good law it was and start liking it.

I think this is probably about the sixth “opportunity” Democrats have claimed to sell the public on health care reform, and I suspect it will be about as successful as the past five.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at