If ObamaCare passes, it will be in spite of and not because of Obama. Let’s review what he has contributed to the effort in the last day. First, there was his appallingly weak interview with Bret Baier, in which he seemed at odds to explain his own bill. And what “facts” he offered seemed to be made up.
Second, Pew is out with another poll showing the president’s approval dropping to 46 percent. By a 48-to-38 percent margin, voters oppose ObamaCare. A huge 71 percent of those polled say that the cost of health care will go up under the bill. The Center Right coalition is amassing: “Fully 81% of Republicans generally oppose the current bills while 62% of Democrats generally favor them. Far more independents still oppose (56%) than favor (32%) the health care bills.”
Third, Obama once again made this issue all about him. He is now pleading with House members to save his presidency. After all, what is really important here is that he not be disgraced. I’m sure members will be delighted to know that such is the rationale for casting potentially career-ending votes.
Now — all is not lost, of course, for the Democrats. Not by a long shot. CBO has coughed up its scoring, showing that the bill will cost $940B over ten years. Minus the Doc Fix. And with the accounting gimmicks, of course. If a House Democrat was inclined to help the president, this may help give cover. For those who have long stopped buying the funny numbers, this will be a yawn.
So it comes down to this for on-the-fence House Democrats: take one for the team (i.e., to save Obama) or save themselves from the wrath of the voters? We’ll find out if and when they vote, as Steny Hoyer promised, on Sunday.