Will those who benefit from Obamacare offset those who are harmed by it?

At PowerLine, Paul Mirengoff analyzes a Politico article that attempts to assess the political fallout from Obamacare.  The Politico writers, says Mirengoff, acknowledge that those in the individual insurance market aren’t feeling the love for the Democrats now, but imply that the majority of these people would have voted Republican in any event.  Mirengoff notes, though, this impression is belied by facts in the Politico article:

But later in the article we learn that, according to a survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nearly half of those who brought their own insurance are between the ages of 18 and 44. We also learn, thanks to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, that there is no statistically significant difference between the political party affiliation of those who buy their own health care.

To be sure, when pressed, more people in this group say they lean Republican than Democrat. But the Kaiser poll clearly supports my statement that the party allegiance of Obamacare losers (at least this set of them) is split. Moreover, as one analyst quoted by Politico says, anger over cancellation letters is likely to cross party lines.

In other words, actual numbers suggest that the first wave of Obamacare victims may turn some Democrats into Republican voters, at least temporarily.

Obama and the Democrats, however, are counting on the fact that, for every voter who turns against the Dems because he lost his insurance, his rates went up, and his coverage quality went down, the Dems will still gain voters who got insurance despite preexisting conditions or who benefited from the subsidies that voters with sticker shock are funding.  Just as Republicans fear the moment when 51% or more of Americans get government hand-outs, the Democrats look forward to the moment when 51% or more of Americans look to the government for goodies.

What I think both the Democrats and the Republicans are forgetting is that a large segment of that 51% doesn’t vote.  How do I know this?  Because I have a family member who is part of that 51%.  I love this family member, who is an honest, decent person with a great deal of integrity.  Nevertheless, her choice of friends leaves something to be desired.  (And no, I don’t know what bizarre combination of nature, nurture, and peer pressure resulted in me being a very wholesome professional living an upper-middle-class life in a chi-chi suburb surrounded by children and dogs, while she ended up being a college drop-out living in a trailer park.)

He may benefit from Obamacare, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be mentally organized enough to vote for Democrats

He may benefit from Obamacare, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be mentally organized enough to vote for Democrats

This gal’s friends all get some form of welfare:  foods stamps, welfare checks, free clinic health care, etc.  Many of them dropped out the employment market years ago.  To the extent that they are almost entirely dependent on government largesse, it is in their best interest to vote Democrat.  Obamacare definitely increases their fealty to the Democrat party.

The problem that the Democrats have with this cohort, however, is that, while it’s in these people’s best interests to vote Democrat, the same pathologies that leave them dependent on government also mean that most of them can’t or won’t vote.  Some are convicted felons (with their criminal records invariably tied to substance abuse), so they can’t vote.  All of them are eternally disorganized.  A combination of substance abuse, mental health disorders, and old-fashioned stupidity means that these people cannot get their acts together sufficiently to voter their own interests.  Most aren’t even registered, and wouldn’t know what to do if they were.

While these people are the Democrats’ natural constituency, they aren’t Democrat voters.  Sure, if you do a man on the street interview with one of these people, he’ll talk the party line and sound like he’ll be the first ones at the polls on election day.  If you were to go to his house on election day, though, you’d discover him slumped on the couch, beer in one hand and doobie in the other, unaware that he missed his opportunity to keep those welfare checks coming.

It's guys like this who reliably vote for Democrats, mistakenly believing that you help people by making them helpless

It’s guys like this who reliably vote for Democrats, mistakenly believing that you help people by making them helpless

Ironically, for a long time, those who have repeatedly voted Democrat for the benefit of this welfare class probably aren’t themselves recipients of welfare.  Instead, they’re the true believers, from the working class on up, who look at these pathetic, disorganized, drunk, and drugged masses and think that a vote for the Democrats, by keeping the welfare spigot open, will help these people.  Put another way, when we see Democrats win, it’s not because the welfare crowd cast the votes, it’s because the bleeding-heart crowd did it on their behalf.

I realize, of course, that this is a simplification that doesn’t take into account functional poor people who believe that they can survive only with government handouts and who make damn sure to vote for the party in charge of the handouts.  These are the voters Republicans need to reach, so that we can explain to them that the Democrats are rather quickly killing off the working- and middle-class geese who have been laying the golden eggs that have then been redistributed to the welfare class.  Destroy your tax base and there’s no more welfare.  These same people need to be convinced that welfare does not need to be a way of life.  And more specifically, blacks need to understand that, just because slavery was work, not all work is slavery.

The big question is whether these once-reliable Democrat voters, now that they're feeling the full effect of Obama's lies, will still vote Democrat

The big question is whether these once-reliable Democrat voters, now that they’re feeling the full effect of Obama’s lies, will still vote Democrat

Obamacare is going to have a very profound effect on Democrat voters, I suspect, but not in the way Democrats hope and Republicans fear.  The Democrats screwed by Obamacare and insulted by Obama’s lies will have their “come to Jesus moments” and may well shift political allegiance, even if only temporarily.  On the flip side, those who voted (and I mean actually cast a vote) for the Democrats and who are not screwed, will continue to vote Democrat.  But the poorest people, the ones who now have heavily subsidized, gold-plated health insurance, will not suddenly rush to the polls.  Health insurance or not, their pathologies will continue to render them incapable of the mental organization required for sending in an absentee ballot or getting out of the house and to the polling station on election day.


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  • Robert Arvanitis

    Short answer “No,”
    First, even if this was INTENDED to help some at the expense of others, it must necessarily fail.This is closet redistribution, without the information which Milton Friedman among others has eloquently noted is required for optimal resource distribution.  Consider the “deadweight loss” of Christmas.  The money one party spends on a gift for another, is never as effective as the money one spends on oneslef.
    Second and more cruel, this was never about helping anyone.  It was just the most recent naked power grab by the left.
    Look at how useless the trillion “stimulus” was.  It MIGHT have had at least some benefits, if it was spent on blue collar projects.  But after feminist whining, it was frittered away on government employees and other pink collar pets.
    So, sadly, “No.”

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    Easy enough to say that the “takers” don’t vote….but without photo ID at the polls, it’s easy enough for someone to voter FOR THEM.  Not all of them, naturally — just enough.

  • Ron19

    Just as Republicans fear the moment when 51% or more of Americans get government hand-outs, the Democrats look forward to the moment when 51% or more of Americans look to the government for goodies.
    For the past few years I have implicitly been “welfare class.”   I even live in a trailer park!
    However, we live in a very nice seniors’ park that looks better than most of the detached housing, apartments, and condos in our city of over one million residents.  I have been forced by law, for decades, to support the unemployment insurance and Social Security checks and direct deposits, and soon the Kaiser Senior Advantage Medicare insurance plan, that I have paid into knowing that they are “unfunded government insurance” programs.
    And I will continue to read Bookworm Room, listen to Rush, go to Mass on Sunday, and other things, and vote Republican. 
    My name is Ron19, and I am a recovering Republican.

  • jj

    ‘Offset’ according to whom?  By what definition?  People who get something for nothing always ‘benefit’ in some sense, usually short-term, but whether they’ll accrue to someone else’s (democrats)) benefit – who knows?  I haven’t seen that democrats, as a species, are much prone to ‘come-to-Jesus’ moments in general, why this would be different I’m uncertain.  And does it matter?  The democrat operation is immune to humiliation on any point, look at all the votes Jugears bought for himself last time by handing out ‘free’ cell phones.  When it was discovered he was buying votes in that manner (which I’d be pretty certain was once regarded as illegal, by the way), you might suppose he’d have had the grace to at least look a little embarrassed.  Not a bit of it.  They just closed that shop and went on to the next bit of moron bribery.
    As they will here, should this not work for them. If the parade of halfwits you reference in the post above doesn’t come through for them, they’ll retreat for an election cycle, maybe two; lick their wounds, and think up some other way to buy back those votes that got away.  The democrats don’t do humiliation: they may have to retreat for a while, but they’ll think of something.

  • JKB

     It may be worth while to emphasize this difference. The fact that Christianity held that accounts were to be balanced in heaven, and that those who had good things here were to have evil things hereafter, that those who were full of sores at the rich man’s gate were to be in “clover,” and the rich man was to be in torture, made it possible for Christian Socialism to exist side by side with institutions which furthered these social inequalities which have been incident to every state of society. The Socialist of our day, however, seems to have turned his back on Christianity, and to have made a serious misalliance in espousing science. This separation has had two effects : it has relieved the thinker from any sense of authority, and it has made him demand an immediate balance of accounts between himself—poor, and his neighbour— rich. He naturally wants not merely to have the pleasure of seeing Dives thirsty hereafter, while he himself is in the consoling bosom of Abraham, but he wants to have some of the good things Dives has. Unwise Socialists talk about confiscating what Dives has; wise ones shudder at the word “confiscation,” but say, “Come, let us ‘tax ‘Dives.” The adoption of science as a creed is a curious feature of Socialism, for science is not, we think, on the side of Socialism. The scientific doctrine of today is that progress has been effected, not through equality, but by means of inequality. It is not by ” taxing ” those who have, for the benefit of those who have not, that evolution goes on, but by oppressing the weak and the poor, and by bestowing the five talents upon him who has five.. Darwinism is in favour of a fair field and no favour, on which the best pigeon, the best stag, and the best man may win and abolish the vanquished. Socialism is desirous of putting an end to this strife, of abolishing competition and rivalry, and of allowing not only the best and fittest, but of allowing every one to survive. And if this fine design cannot be carried out by human nature as it exists, it purposes so to regulate human nature that this end may be a possibility. It purposes, in effect, to punish the capable and the strong for the benefit of the incapable and the weak—for there shall, in spite of Nature, be equal social conditions. Under these circumstances it would be interesting to inquire what would be the effect upon evolution of the successful establishment of a thorough Socialism. That Nature would have her way iu the long run, nay, in the short run, we are inclined to believe, and that she would drive her coach-and-six through this new statute book is more than probable.  P. 6
    Under these circumstances, it may be asked, if all that is so evident, how do you account for the fact that any responsible statesman can give in his adherence to such a cause? Well, there are, it seems to us, several reasons why a statesman maybe led astray into these devious paths. In the first instance, let us point to the fact that the country is betrayed into Socialism. English politicians are generally hand-to-mouth gentlemen. They rarely care to inquire into the remote consequences of their legislative acts. A politician who looks beyond his nose is dubbed “a doctrinaire.” And, consequently, this hand-to-mouth legislation has produced a large amount of Socialistic legislation in the past. Many of the measures which are mooted now only seem the natural development of the measures which were passed yesterday. That is one reason. But there is another. There is a great deal of Socialistic opinion in men’s minds at the present time. There never was an age with less firmness of purpose and more frailty of belief. Many doctrines which used to be thought of as founded upon rocks are now thought to be on sand. “Freedom of Trade ” used to be regarded as almost a sacred Liberal doctrine. No hand is now thought impious that is laid upon this old corner-stone. The conditions of the poor, as compared with the wealth and luxury of the rich, are not more deplorable than they used to be: as a fact, they are less so; but the contrast is better seen and more thoroughly appreciated. All these things have led to the founding of much popular hope upon State help, and may well account for the adoption of Socialism as a creed even by ex-Cabinet Ministers. p8.
    First, then, let us see how he would bestow increased powers and new functions upon municipal and other local authorities, with the view of increasing the enjoyment and raising the morals of the people. He points to the fact, as we havo seen, that these authorities have already given to the people parks and art galleries and museums out of the pockets of the wealthy. Why, we may well ask, are they to stop there? Personally, we may care very little for fossils and may care a great deal for Shakespeare and the opera bouffe. It is a considerable check upon my indulgence in these intellectual pastimes that I have to pay for them out of my own pocket; but why, we should like to know, should the man who wants to look at fossils, or some modern genre picture, be gratified at the public expense, while another has to pay for his seat in the theatre? If the persons who have the levying of the taxes are not to pay them, but are to benefit by the money when it is paid, we see no limit to the amount of recreation and enjoyment which may be provided by means of taxation for the poor of this country—except the bottom of the purse of the rich man. No doubt we all desire to see the lives of the poor enhanced in the way Mr. Chamberlain indicates, and no one desires it more than the poor man himself, and we can understand that having amusement provided at the public cost is a taste which grows by what it feeds on. It is said that a man who had been shipwrecked, who had lived upon the hardest of boots and shoes and upon a very exposed raft, for we do not know how many weeks, and who was ultimately rescued, was brought to London, and introduced to some feeling journalist who, when he had got his story out of the man, asked him if he could do anything for him. Whereupon the man, who had nothing in the world, for he had, as we said earlier, eaten his boots, asked for “an order for the play.” We expect to hear a good many more demands made, following Mr. Chamberlain’s lead, for recreation at the expense of the rich. That the national resources which are necessary “to put the poor to work” should be frittered away in attempting to raise by indulgence, by amusement, by recreation, the lives of those whose first necessity is discipline, is, we think, a very questionable proposal. That a statesman, with a due sense of his responsibility, should so far mislead the people by promises which can only, in the long run, lead to disappointment, is a bad sign of our times. Surely he must know that if the people once taste the sweets of plunder, if they begin to enjoy the unearned increment, there will be larger demands made, and that the only end to those demands will be the end of that useful milk-cow, the capitalist class. Having recreation at the expense of another can only be a temporary, a very temporary, expedient. In the first place the wealth of this country is not, by any means, so great as to enable the whole of the inhabitants to enjoy life in the way suggested, and even if it were, a time would very soon come when the person who supplied the recreation would have no more to “pay the piper” with, and then, we fear, the dancing must cease, or go on without music. But will it last even so long? An American candidate said “Capital is sensitive; it shrinks from the very appearance of danger.” We think that it is shrinking in this country, and if capital goes beyond the seas, if it is taken to other and safer countries, we shall have the poor of this country dancing to quite other tunes than those which are being composed by their over-sanguine guides for their delectation. We shall have the poor of this country condemned to misery and starvation. They themselves cannot see this, but it behoves those who would constitute themselves the leaders of the people to take heed lest they mislead them into such ” sloughs of despond.” p 18-19
    The principles of modern Socialism are not at all difficult to understand, and it may be worth while to state them in a single paragraph. The basis of the creed is the proposition that all value is produced by labour, or that the measure of value is the amount of labour which is necessary to produce the article. From this value has, of course, to come the cost of production— that is, the money spent upon raw materials and the wear and tear of machinery. The remainder, after these deductions have been made, is at present divided between the real producers and the capitalist. The portion which goes to the workers is called wages, the portion which goes to the capitalist is called “surplus,” “profits,” or, as certain Socialists prefer to call it, “fleecings.” It is because under the industrial system the means of production are owned by capitalists, that they (capitalists) are enabled to levy this black-mail upon labour. The social product is appropriated by the individual capitalist, to the injury and loss of the labourer, whose work produced the value that is thus stolen from him. Under this system the labourer is a wage slave. The remuneration he receives is determined by the minimum of subsistence, and thus it comes that he who in the sweat of his brow showers gold upon the capitalist is himself a slave and a pauper. This subject lends itself to a good deal of strong writing. No doubt it must flatter the ploughman and the harvester to be told that he feeds the world; that it is the spinner and the weaver that clothes all the naked; and that the capitalists and their retainers, the lawyers, the railway shareholders and other parasitic classes are the vampires who fatten upon the very remains of the class which has endowed the world, must be reassuring doctrine to the ” minders” of mules. The remedy, too, is one which recommends the creed. Capital must exist, they say, but it must not be in private hands. The means of production are useful, but they must be owned by the producers. The revolution which will make everybody happy and comfortable, is to be effected by means of the organization of the labouring classes, and by the expropriation, not of the landlords —that is a fleabite—but of all those bloodsucking classes who live upon rents, profits, or interest, without compensation. We will admit at once that there is a great deal to be said in favour of the position which these gentlemen take up, and that much has by the writers we have mentioned been cogently said upon these and cognate points. But because there is much to be said for these doctrines, it does not follow that there is nothing to be said against them. Let us see what can be said. p22
    Liberty is, and always has been, the cry of the capable, the clever, the brave, of the men who were destined to be prosperous. Equality is the demand of the ignorant, the incapable, the foolish, and the cowardly. Those who cannot deal with the conditions of the times so as to raise themselves above their fellows, desire, and naturally desire, to have the conditions of the time shaped and modified to their incapacities. p30-31
    The Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Review, January 1886.

  • http://www.amazon.com/Occupy-Innsmouth-ebook/dp/B009WWJ44A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361504109&amp raymondjelli

    It won’t happen.  Obamacare will have successes.  They will be odd but they will be successes. The professional activists who now have a source of income from being navigators.  The miracle interventions by politicians to get certain people emergency treatment which only seem to happen on election years to those relatives of people on campaign staffs. We haven’t seen “adjustments for fairness” along racial lines yet but they will come.
    The Democrats can now say they made Obamacare cheaper by simply pushing off the collection of money for unsubsidized (subsidizing) policies till after the election cycle. 
    In campaign ads they will come up with composite people who were saved by Obamacare and supposedly would have died under the old system.
    Here is the problem.  We have states where machine politics is a fact of life.  The graft repeatedly comes to light, taxes are high and everyone knows its a scam.  Yet they have learned how to ride out the inevitable backlash against the corruption.  We see the backlash as a beginning but they know it is the beginning of the end of opposition. Obama is very unpopular in his second term for a very good reason.  He can afford to be. In machine politics land, the more you are hated, the more likely you are stealing and getting away with it.  This is called success and not failure and no one has found a way yet to turn the tide.

  • Robert Arvanitis

    There is still hope Raymond.
    For every feel-good story, the Tea Party will produce two disaster, as above.
    And it’s not just when 51% get something — it’s weighted numbers and whether total greed points (people times handouts) outweighs anger points (people times losses).
    The tipping point is now slipping back where the amerced are angrier than the takers.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Democrat answer to when the slaves somehow got the ability to vote for themselves (before, whites voted for them, as slaves counted as part of a representative count for a slave owning state, sort of like a political resource) was to activate the KKK and fund it.
    Terrorism worked well enough that the territory and people were conquered, paving the way for Jim Crow. Or in other words, Shariah. The law that comes after the terrorists win the chaos.
    So I suspect the Democrats, even if they didn’t want to activate their wet work unions so soon, will do so if needed to sustain their power.

  • Charles Martel

    Book, your advice that the GOP should make takers aware that Demo tactics will soon make sure there’s nothing left to take is good on paper, but it won’t make a dent among the low-infos. When people have been conditioned to think and act only in the here and now, warning them about the future makes no impression–unless the warning involves how the white-supremacist Republican Party is taking aim at the goodies.
    Of the two parties, one knows that as long as it can pander to people by gratifying them now, it can stay in power. When the inevitable collapse comes, it will be easy to shift blame to the heartless conservatives who forced the welfare pump to stop. Harsh conditions will, therefore, call for harsh measures, such as martial law or the assumption of “temporary” emergency powers. 
    I think the imposition of Obamacare will be the last real test of the voting public’s ability to fight back. I’m hopeful that it will, but not at all optimistic.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Americans can’t fight back without organization and funding. The IRS and other Regime tools ensure they won’t get that funding and that grass roots organizations will be destroyed, one way or another.
    So even if the will was there, an army cannot fight as an army when the leaders are taken out and they get nothing to eat, no money to buy equipment with.
    Such a “people” can only do terrorism or insurgency.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Ron19:  I certainly didn’t mean to insult trailer park residents. I know that some are delightful, well-maintained communities, with affordable homes.

    My relative’s trailer-park community is like something out of a Hollywood movie — derelict, with the residents made up of people who have traded in their hard-core addictions, such as heroin, meth, alcohol, etc., for the more passive addictions of pot and welfare.  They are stereotypes. 

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    JKB:  (sigh) Will we EVER see his like again?

  • Mike Devx

    I’ve given up trying to figure out the American people.  What will happen, will happen.
    As for ObamaCare, the liberal plan will be clear:  There need to be only enough success stories so that the media can highlight them.  The media will bury the negative stories.  They need enough success stories to make them seem fresh, and new, and news-worthy.
    But the American people may still surprise us all.  What worked in the last election cycle may fail in the next one.

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