Ever the astute politician, former President Bill Clinton has got this right.
Clinton predicted "the minute health care reform passed, President Obama’s approval ratings would go up 10 points." And he said they would go up 20 points next year once Americans saw that none of the bad things Republicans said would happen came true.
A 20-point gain is a bit of a stretch, perhaps. But it makes sense that, while the extreme right will find something else to wail about, once healthcare reform is understood not to include gassing granny, most folks will be happy with it, assuming that the bill is written so that most of the reforms are immediately effective. Once people start finding affordable healthcare, the better off Obama’s popularity numbers will be.
But the devil is in the details. One thing I haven’t heard discussed is the cost of the insurance for people in the upper middle class. Once you get passed $66,000, which seems to be the cut off point for government aid, cost can be an issue, even for folks making more than $100,000 per year. The insurance companies won’t be able to deny you for pre-existing conditions, but can they raise your rates so high it won’t be affordable? Can they offer “affordable” insurance premiums but with high deductibles?