Tom Purcell: Obamacare backlash no surprise
Sheesh, what did they expect?
I speak of the backlash to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which passed along purely partisan lines. Not one Republican in the House or Senate voted in favor of it. More than half of the American people were against it in 2010.
In fact, according to Politico, ObamaCare was the most partisan bill to become law in the past 100 years.
Politico points to a study conducted by JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest, who reviewed major legislation that became law during the past century.
Cembalest reviewed a variety of bills that covered civil rights, entitlement programs, welfare reform, labor relations, tax preferences and a variety of other monumental and sometimes controversial, issues.
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which gave the federal government the ability to create money, was controversial in its day — but it was supported in the House by 99 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of Republicans.
The Social Security Act of 1935, which did plenty to transform America, received support from 96 percent of House Democrats and 81 percent of House Republicans.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 received House support from 80 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats.
Heck, even the Revenue Act of 1913, which established the income tax and was, before ObamaCare, the most controversial bill in the last 100 years, received support in the House from 5 percent of Republicans (and 98 percent of Democrats).
"Regardless of what anyone thinks about its merits and failings, Obamacare has an 'original sin' problem," says Cembalest in his report. "For the first time in 100 years, one party crammed down a bill with national implications without any agreement from the opposing party."
And now our country has a real mess on its hands.
It's not just because ObamaCare is hitting all kinds of obstacles as it is rolled out. Our incompetent government spent some $600 million on a website that still doesn't work.
It's not just because the president promised Americans they could keep their policies and doctors — as millions are seeing their policies canceled, forcing them to buy ObamaCare-compliant policies that cost two or three times as much.
And it's not just because Americans are worried that the worst is yet to come as ObamaCare disrupts and remakes one-sixth of the U.S. economy — and that it is likely to continue to disrupt labor markets and inhibit economic growth.
It is mainly because our political class — in this case, the Democrats who had control of the House, Senate and White House in 2010 — disregarded the will of the majority of the American people and rammed through a bill without the majority's consent.
Numerous polls show that more than half of Americans still do not like or want ObamaCare — and those numbers will worsen as more people find out their policies are not eligible for "grandfathering."
Rage is growing among citizens, who are losing their policies. Many are speaking out to their elected representatives and demanding that ObamaCare be repealed or, at the very least, delayed.
More Americans are coming to the conclusion that it took tremendous hubris and arrogance for politicians to think that the federal government could remake the health-care sector without causing the massive chaos we are now witnessing.
And so the backlash not only continues, but is growing worse.
Yet, despite the backlash, ObamaCare's creators are doubling down. The president is saying he didn't say what he said — what he said over and over again about keeping coverage and doctors.
PR flacks are showing up on news programs, trying to convince average Americans they are not experiencing what they are experiencing.
This is what happens when you ram through a massive bill that is one-sided from the start.
Sheesh, what did they expect?
Tom Purcell is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Email Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.