Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

President Obama needs to sell us on Obamacare, even if we have to wait until 2014

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You might be ready to forgive John Roberts for his flub of the swearing-in of President Obama in 2009.

Roberts was the deciding vote in the 5-4 decision that upheld the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). For those who were hoping that Justice Anthony Kennedy was going to save the day, yikes.

“The fundamental problem with the court’s approach to this case is this: It saves a statute Congress did not write,” Kennedy said from the bench. “The court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching.”

Not that a White House should excel in marketing, but the Obama Administration has done a horrible job at marketing this legislation. At stake was a tax, but it wasn’t called a tax. And so those that used the legal system to destroy health care reform came one vote away from accomplishing their goals.

After the ruling, President Obama explained to the American people why the legislation has helped some people, and will eventually help most of us.

When most Americans can’t take advantage of the health care reform, the opponents drive the message. You can argue that the government isn’t in control of health care or that there are no death panels, but without visible proof, your argument isn’t that strong.

Now that Obama doesn’t have to worry about the Supreme Court, and he wants to get re-elected, the president should show the American people why Obamacare will help them … even if that help isn’t coming until 2014. His inability to sell Obamacare cost the Dems the House in 2010; if he can’t get that marketing engine going, his chances of still being president will diminish.


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