But there’s another angle worth considering here. It has mostly passed with little attention, but the Wall Street Journal recently reported that insurance companies are set to spend as much as $1 billion on ads wooing new customers shopping on the exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. Those ads will represent a huge campaign that can only help get the word out about the benefits of the law, and it’s a safe bet those ads won’t mention the word “Obamacare.”
All this comes as we’re entering a phase that really could tip the balance towards Obamacare in a way that hasn’t been possible before. As Steve Benen notes:
When they vote several dozen times to repeal the reform law, GOP lawmakers assume they’ll pay no political price. But the more Americans take advantage of the law, the more voters will balk at a Republican crusade that undermines families’ health care security — whether “Obamacare” polls well or not.
Yes. The basic situation may soon be that opponents of the ACA will be stuck making political arguments voters have been hearing for years, in hopes that they overwhelm emerging facts about the law and people’s actual experience of its benefits. It’s always possible there will be serious implementation problems, and that negative experiences of the law could worsen perceptions of it. But the basic political trajectory here — benefits are set to kick in just as Obamacare’s opponents are resorting to the most destructive tactics yet, in the quest to take coverage away from millions, dividing the GOP in the process — clearly offers grounds for optimism.