President Obama will never have to face the voters again, so we will never get to see how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will change people’s opinion of him. For example, the president never fared particularly well with white working class voters. Yet, they are going to be some of the prime beneficiaries of ObamaCare. Recent polling shows the potential for tremendous gains for the Democrats among segments of the electorate who seem generally unaware of the “gifts” the president prepared for them:
Seventy-eight percent of the uninsured Americans who are likely to qualify for subsidies were unfamiliar with the new coverage options in a survey by Democratic polling firm Lake Research Partners. That survey, sponsored by the nonprofit Enroll America, also found that 83 percent of those likely to qualify for the expansion of Medicaid, which is expected to cover 12 million Americans, were unaware of the option.
What people have heard about is the mandate which requires people to acquire health insurance. They have basically no clue, however, about how ObamaCare makes health care insurance affordable.
Enroll America held focus groups in Philadelphia in mid-November, working exclusively with those who probably would qualify for benefits. Looking to understand how much public education will be needed, the researchers came back with a simple answer: a lot.
Participants’ hands shot up when researchers asked whether they had heard about a requirement to buy health insurance. But when asked about whether they had heard about any provisions that might make insurance more affordable, none of the 31 participants in the four groups answered yes.
Barack Obama just won about 85% of the vote in Philadelphia despite the nearly universal ignorance about how ObamaCare is going to help the working class. People are no better informed in mountainous West Virginia or rural Arkansas. Once they find out the details, they are going to be extremely grateful.
Think about Boone County, West Virginia. It is 98.5% white and 22% of its residents are living in poverty. The median income for a household is $25,669. In 2012, the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is set at $11,170 for a one-person household and rises by $3,960 for each additional family member. Thus, the FPL for a four-person family in 2012 is $23,050. I think we can surmise from these numbers that a very high percentage of the families in Boone County are going to be eligible for health care subsidies in the highest range.
People and families earning 133 percent of FPL, for example, will have to pay only 2 percent of their income toward the health insurance premium.
In Boone County, a family of four making the median income of $25,669 will only have to pay two percent of their income ($513/annually) toward a $10,000 health insurance plan. The government will also cover 94% of their out-of-pocket expenses. President Obama only received 32.9% of the vote in Boone County. I think candidate Biden or Cuomo or Clinton or Warner or whomever else will have a good shot at improving that number.
When Mitt Romney talked about the president winning the election by giving out gifts, he was wrong. Almost no one understand that they would be receiving gifts of this magnitude. If they had understood it, they would have told Romney to take his promise to repeal ObamaCare and shove it up his ass. I believe this is true in small, white, rural counties all over America.
I think John Boehner agrees with me, which is why he is still talking about destroying ObamaCare. When you take a poor, white family of four living in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia and you give them $9,500 a year to make sure they all have health insurance and you cover 94% of their out of pocket health care expenses, you have effectively counter-programmed the crap they’ve been seeing on Fox News. You want a new New Deal coalition? Here it comes.