Defend it!

I get that all too many Democrats are convinced that the public hates the ACA and they should just ignore it rather than try to defend it.  But in leaving the playing field to only one side (who lies with extremely burning pants about the matter constantly and without shame) it’s no wonder the American people don’t like it (not to mention, the degree to which that is true is overstated).

Here’s the thing, everybody knows the ACA is a Democratic proposition, does a Democratic politician really gain all that much by just pretending to ignore the issue.  Just this morning on NPR, I heard the Florida Democratic Senate candidate say some few meaningless words about health care before something like “but what the American people really care about is jobs.”  This law is not perfect, but it’s a good law that will truly substantially improve the lives of millions and millions of Americans.  Own that!

Ezra had a piece today that public opinion is just not going to budge much so that there’s really not much point in trying to defend the law and he’s got a point, but I still think simply turning the playing field over to the other side (as has largely been done) is a guaranteed losing proposition.  We’ve seen time after time that the American public really likes the vast majority of what this law actually does.  The problem is that they don’t associate these benefits with the law.  The Republicans aren’t going to help with that, but more importantly, neither is the news media if the Democrats aren’t out there making the case.  Make it, damnit.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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