The Real Reason Why Obamacare Now Has a 54% Approval Rating
by smirking –
CNN had an eye opening story yesterday that’s been flying under the radar and really deserves to be given a lot more attention. In his article The cruel double standard that may have saved Obamacare, John Blake explores a very simple rationale for why Obamacare is suddenly gaining in popularity.
The face of Obamacare is now white.More Americans now realize Obamacare helps millions of working class whites and that it’s not — as once portrayed by conservatives — a form of welfare pushed by the first black president to help people of color, historians and scholars say. The media landscape is filled with images of the furrowed brows of anxious white residents at congressional town halls who fear they will suffer if they lose Obamacare, says Judy Lubin, a sociologist and adjunct professor at Howard University in Washington.
This makes sense to me. This makes more sense to me than believing that most people still don’t know the ACA and Obamacare are the same thing. Yes, plenty of those people exist, but plenty of people who understood the law were were still against it even as they were benefitting from it. The airwaves were full of stories of people who knew the ACA was saving their lives and the lives of people around them, but still voted for Trump. There was even that one ACA Navigator in Kentucky who estimated she’s signed up over 1000 people to Medicaid and ACA plans and yet she voted for Trump.
Since the election, Republicans have stepped up the misinformation war on the ACA and pulled out the same scare tactics that they used to drive down the acceptance of the ACA in the first place. If anything, the ACA’s numbers should have started trending down after the election, but remarkably, they defied gravity. Is it because people suddenly woke up smarter and more sober on November 9th? Or were they simply growing fond of it because they might lose it?
I don’t want to oversimplify, but I’m subscribing to John Blake’s opinion as my leading cause:
Now the optics of Obamacare have changed, Lubin says. The media is filled with images of working-class white people in farmer’s caps and jeans saying Obamacare saved their lives. Some of them include Trump supporters who say they didn’t think he was talking about them when he campaigned on getting rid of Obamacare.“It made [Obamacare] real for people; they see people who look like them and whose lives have been saved,” Lynch says. “They’re able to connect to that.”
So what’s happened since Nov 9th?
We were treated to profile after profile of the communities and issues that helped Trump win. They could have started a 24/7 news network that did nothing but show footage of life in the Rust Belt. We were hearing about people’s health problems and their opioid addition non-stop like it was something that no inner-city had ever experienced before. Now the story was all about White people and when the ACA got brought up, it was in the context of these mostly White communities and their health problems, their disabled coal miners, and their issues with addiction. It was impossible for these stories not to lead into discussions into how Obamacare was affecting them and what losing it would do to those communities.
Then when the town hall protests were becoming a thing, it seemed to me that the footage of people offering testimonials of Obamacare saving their life or a loved one’s life were disproportionately White.
Republicans picked the wrong time to try to destroy the ACA. With every leg of the ACA the Republicans tried to kick away, a new wave of stories furthered our new fetish with the Rust Belt communities and what these changes would do to Rural White America. Take away mental health and addiction treatment? Don’t you realize that opioid addiction is devastating us? Slashing Medicaid? What about the coal miners!?
So, what was making Obamacare unpopular according to Blake? Racism (and sexism). And why is it rebounding now? It looks “White” now.
It’s a very good read. Go read John Blake’s piece at CNN.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos