Saturday, October 19, 2013

Good News!

Democracy Corps, partnered with the Women's Voices Women's Vote Action Fund, just reported out a  national survey showing an "intense majority" favoring implementing and improving the Affordable Care Act:

The "strong implementers" are 10 points more than the "strong repeal and replacers". This is a big shift from January, 2010, when 46% strongly opposed the law. The shift in support is not based on partisan alignment or messaging; it is based on personal experience:

The study makes a clear case that a debate over the principles and benefits of the ACA is a debate Democrats should want. The web site and the sign-up process will eventually be fixed. Survey respondents were quite understanding of likely snafus the law would encounter, calling this a "test case", "something we will need to work and improve upon", and they definitely preferred that Democrats be charged with implementation (20 point margin).

There are some really effective ways to message the ACA, to language the story in ways that are meaningful to consumers, particularly those that Democracy Corps (and others) have identified as the RAE - the Rising American Electorate - minorities, youth, unmarried women, and professionals:

Even supporters still have concerns: slowing job growth due to businesses concerned about healthcare costs; downsizing jobs (part timing); employers dropping coverage; and premiums rising rapidly. The GOP has hammered on these points mercilessly; but evidence is coming in clearly that people pay attention to their own experiences, and that these can overcome the negative messaging - certainly with Democrats and Indpendents, if much less so with Republicans.

And eventually, the experience will be good: premiums are not spiking uncontrollably; employers are not dumping huge number of employees onto the Exchanges; and though there is some increase in shifting workers to less than 30 hours per week (to avoid providing insurance), there is no large scale trend in this direction. The sign-up process is bad. Eventually, it will get fixed. And when it does, the good things that Obamacare does will be the story that lasts.

And I think this will be happening in full swing by next summer, giving Dems a great opportunity to take a bow for what they fought so hard for - the largest, most important step up in support of the middle class in almost 50 years.

This is a great and emerging Democratic triumph. Possibly by next Fall, and certainly by 2016, Progressives can use this as an example of the way Government can be a powerful force for good in America. Now that's a radical idea!

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