Start fighting on Obamacare already!

Now, I’m not political strategist, but the idea that Democrats can succeed politically with “well, we no Obamacare needs some tweaks and we’re going to work on that” is, of course, ludicrous.  Republicans are pounding Democrats on the issue and all we get is “yeah, but you are exaggerating– we’ll fix the problems.  Oh, and it helps some people.”  Or something like that.  How about instead of all those “Obamacare ruined my life ads.” An “Obamacare saved my life.  Literally.”  ad.  You know there’s absolutely got to be those stories out there now.  And heck, stretch the truth if you need to– that’s politics.  A young mom with subsidized Obamacare coverage had a cancer screening and caught her cancer in State I and now is cured?  Put her and her kids on TV, damnit.  That’s how you do these things.  Here’s Drum from today:

From Kathy Bentzoni of Slatington, Pennsylvania, who signed up for Obamacare after giving up her “useless” old coverage because it was too expensive and denied all her claims. A few weeks ago, knowing she could afford it, she went to the ER complaining about numbness in her fingers:

Where would I be without Obamacare? ER, 3 units of blood, multiple tests in the hospital and a 5-day inpatient stay without insurance? Probably dead.

I have to thank Obamacare for saving my life.

Bentzoni would have been treated in the ER regardless of her insurance status. Without insurance, though, she might not have gone. Or she might have waited too long. But on March 1, knowing that it wouldn’t bankrupt her, she went in time to avoid the worst. And thanks to Obamacare, she can afford the ongoing care she’ll need to treat her rare blood disorder.

This is from a piece at CNN highlighting five Obamacare success stories. More like this, please.

Democrats own Obamacare.  Period.  There’s just no running away at all.  So Democrats need to start playing hardball themselves and talking about people who would have died (heck, that’s a lot worse than oh, no, my insurance premium went up $100 and I had to buy it!) if not for Obamacare.  Why isn’t this happening?  If Democrats don’t fight back at all on the issue it becomes a complete self-fulfilling prophecy that it’s a losing issue.  Time to get past the website and tell some stories about bankruptcies avoided and lives saved.

Photo of the day

From a New Yorker gallery of photos from the outskirts of Moscow

Pastoral01.jpg

Zapadnoe Biryulevo I, 2011. (Alexander Gronsky)

Margin of error

My friend, colleague, and former office-mate, Mike Cobb has started a new blog for a local news station (the TV station with the best actual coverage of politics I’ve ever seen) that focuses on polling.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with it.

Here’s his inaugural post where he does a nice job deconstructing recent presidential polls and the generally horrible job the media does in covering them:

Bloomberg recently released a poll indicating President Obama’s approval rating had “rebounded” from 42 percent to 48 percent. They wrote that this increase was “the biggest positive change of his presidency.” The very next day, a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found Obama’s approval rating was 41 percent. Contrary to Bloomberg, the WSJ wrote, “Obama’s approval rating hits new low.” …

News reports on these polls were misleading, contributing to the appearance of dramatic differences when they are not. This happens because news media usually collaborate with a specific pollster, and their subsequent coverage of their polls ignores other polling on the topic if a different pollster conducted it.

For the Wall Street Journal, the 2 percentage point decline in Obama’s approval rating since January is within the margin of sampling error (plus or minus 3 percentage points), so it is not possible to tell if Obama’s approval rating was declining, or the 2 point change reflected random error introduced by sampling. Further, Obama has polled lower than 41 percent in other surveys, so it’s not accurate to say this was Obama’s lowest rating.

For Bloomberg, ignoring other polls that show a much lower approval rating gives the misleading appearance that Obama’s approval is rebounding – it’s probably improving only within their own polling. To be sure, Bloomberg is not the only poll to find Obama’s approval rating is closer to 50 percent than 40 percent, but a solid majority of all polls suggests approval is currently closer to 40 percent.

I’ve made this point before and it remains a damn good one.  It borders on journalistic malpractice to report your single poll in a vacuum just because it is from a particular polling organization and ignore all the other polls on the same question.  Anyway, the polling average is pretty clear that Obama is in the low 40’s, not exactly where he wants to be and not something that will help in the 2014 elections.

Anyway, nice start from Mike.  I do like the name for the blog, but I would have preferred Marge Innovera.

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