"If that turns out to be the case, there will be hell to pay politically for the president and his fellow Democrats, likely for a very long time," writes Byron York, in a column titled "The simple question that will determine Obamacare's fate."
Is this right?
1. Don't conflate the continuation of the Obamacare program with the future political prospects of Democrats. We might very well be stuck in the Obamacare system whether people end up liking it or not. Punishing Democrats politically is something that can happen quite aside from whether Obamacare ever ends.
2. Many people opposed Obamacare in principle. We start with a base of about half the people who don't like it and might not even like it if they are substantially benefited. To this base, add the people who believed it would be good and are disappointed.
3. Many of us — whether we've been for or against Obamacare in the past — may believe that the promise was that we'd all be better off. It wasn't sold as: You have a good shot at being a winner. Or: there will be winners and losers, but overall, it's the greater good for the greater number. If this is what people believe they were told, it's not enough that 51% are better off and 49% are worse off or even that 60% are better off and 40% are worse off. Even 80/20 doesn't seem right. It was supposed to make the whole system better for everyone.
4. Mere marginal improvement overall even augmented by the luck of getting a personal benefit does not resonate with the feelings of altruism and idealism that have buoyed supporters of Obama and Obamacare over the years.