Ramming health care yada yada yada

Opponents of health care reform are making themselves hoarse and even risking their treasured reputations as sane and considerable people,  trying to warn us about the popular hostility to health care reform as enacted today.  Indeed, the Republicans’ grace and sportsmanship, openly warning Democrats about how terribly this would hurt them in the fall, has been a lesson in comity and fair play to all of us.  The Democrats didn’t listen, and Obama didn’t listen, but now we have some real evidence of the enormity of this bill’s violation of popular and expert judgment.  First, we have the devastating verdict of investors and the market on the ruinous business outlook it entails.  As you can see  in this DJIA chart for the week through today, the very first thing than happened on Monday morning after the votes was a precipitous across-the-board selloff. You can see it right there, at A: selloff! Index falling off a cliff! And in case you think it was a fluke, you can see five more crashes, one after the other – widows and orphans ruined, factories closing, lights going out all over America – in only two days. Stock up on your apples to sell on the sidewalk, folks.

Then there’s polling data, from which Gallup tells us that positive/negative/no opinion percentages are 49/40/11 today.  What we need to remember, of course, is that those 40% are the real Americans, whose views deserve respect and deference (except the ringers mixed in with them who think the bill isn’t progressive enough, but you can tell them by their glowing red eyes); you know what kind of treasonous wretches are in the 49.  Two weeks ago, these numbers were 45/48/7, but we should not be deceived by “trends” we don’t like. (For serious discussion and caution about bounces and wobbles, you are referred as always to Nate Silver.)

We ignore the people’s wisdom at our peril, yup.  I am so not terrified of a fell vengeance on Democrats in November for HCR. In the spirit of Iago the parrot, I’m practically having palpitations from not terrified.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

4 thoughts on “Ramming health care yada yada yada”

  1. And of course we don't vote nationally. My Republican congressman is quite likely to win re-election, and so there's no difference between 55-45 in favor of the bill and 90-10 against it. The only polling that matters is in 25 or 30 of the 435 House districts. And, statewide, in maybe 5 of the 33 states with Senate races (which do not include the state where I live).

  2. The Republicans though have won a propaganda war with the independents.

    The benefits, such as they are, will take a long time to filter through. The issues (such as mandatory coverage) arrive much faster. Whereas the general word on the street out there is that this is a disastrous bill.

    It is quite likely Obama's domestic swansong. He will face a Republican majority, or an unworkably small minority given the Democrats' lack of voting discipline, in either the House and/or the Senate.

    The sum total of domestic progress for Obama in the next 6 years is likely nil. That would be the pattern of many 2 term presidents: even FDR post 1938. Ronald Reagan (with the 1986 Tax Reform Act) perhaps the major exception.

    An achievement, to be sure, but his only major one.

    he will now turn his attention to foreign policy where he will discover that US presidents face realities (intransigence of Israel, speed of the Iranian atomic bomb effort) that cannot be altered by mere personality and charisma.

  3. "The benefits, such as they are, will take a long time to filter through. The issues (such as mandatory coverage) arrive much faster."

    Really? The mandate doesn't kick in until 2014 (when the fine for not having insurance will start at a whopping $95), and there are many big benefits kicking in this year.

    Nice try, though.

  4. Also (see the previous post here), the MSM is living up to their reputation as lickspittles; they're responding to the winners and losers of the day.

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