April 25, 2010

IT GETS WORSE:

Obama’s triumph leaves voters cold (Clive Crook, April 25 2010, Financial Times)

Many Democrats hoped that healthcare reform would gain support once the proposal was law and tempers had cooled. There is no sign of it so far. Support improved briefly when the measure was signed, then dropped again. Recent polls suggest a hardening of opposition. Most voters once backed comprehensive reform; almost 60 per cent now favour outright repeal.

The impression lingers that the new law will make insurance more expensive, push up taxes and make government too big – and that its passage was achieved by underhand means. Also, implementing the reform will be anything but easy. Its complexities are staggering. It places heavy fiscal and administrative burdens on states in no position to bear them. Democrats are deluding themselves if they think the hard part is over.

More important, opposition to the healthcare law is bound up with scepticism over Mr Obama’s wider approach. Voters are worried about public borrowing and the prospect of higher taxes. They are right to be. They have noticed that Mr Obama is modifying his election pledge that taxes on the middle class would rise by “not one cent”. He has started to confine this statement to income taxes, which leaves plenty of room for other kinds. In an interview last week, he left the door open to a value-added tax.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2010 6:36 PM
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