Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Obamacare Backlash Grows

Gary L. Bauer

The implementation of Obamacare kicks into high gear on January 1, 2014. As the calendar counts down, even some of the president's liberal allies are finding it impossible to square Obama's rhetoric with reality. One labor union, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, has already called for the "repeal or complete reform" of Obamacare. Now other unions are speaking out.

Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, essentially accused Obama of lying. Hansen told the Associated Press, "[Obamacare] makes an untruth out of what the president said -- that if you like your insurance, you could keep it. That is not going to be true for millions of workers now."

Union bosses assumed that their concerns would be addressed after the 2012 election. In January, a top Teamsters leader said, "We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable." But despite private talks with administration officials, the unions have failed in their attempts to change the law.

As a result, they are warning that liberal politicians could suffer in next year's election. Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Firefighters, warned, "It started out with some anxiety, and I think it's translated into more anger." 

I have no expectation that Mr. Schaitberger will become a card-carrying member of the Tea Party movement anytime soon. But politicians who voted for Obamacare should be worried. Union members who are just now learning the truth are not the only ones upset with Obamacare.

Obamacare Deeply Unpopular

Barack Obama and congressional liberals rammed through Obamacare in 2010 after convincing themselves that the public would embrace the healthcare takeover legislation over time. But three years later, two recent polls indicate that Obamacare still remains deeply unpopular.

A CNN poll released yesterday found 54% of adults opposed Obamacare, while just 43% supported it. Last week a Fox News poll found that 56% of voters thought it would be better "to go back to the health care system that was in place in 2009." Just 34% felt we should keep Obamacare.

There was no good news for liberals. Looking ahead, only 26% voters expect Obamacare will make health care better, while 53% say health care will be worse off in the future if Obamacare remains in effect. Even voters 35 and under wanted to get rid of Obamacare by a 20-point margin of 55%-to-35%.