History teaches us important lessons all of the time. Friday’s Supreme Court ruling regarding Same Sex Marriage was widely applauded on just about every side of the political spectrum. Yet just 18 years ago a majority of elected members of Congress in BOTH parties and a left-leaning President had agreed to ban marriage equality.
Health Care right now is the most contentious issue in this country. It has polarized Americans like few issues since Vietnam. Yet in time, history tells us that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka “Obamacare” and its components including Medicaid Expansion will be universally accepted both in Florida and nationally except by a small percentage of highly politicized ideological zealots on the right.
When Social Security was passed predictions of gloom and doom followed. But by the 1944 Presidential Election, only ten years after Social Security was implemented, Republicans almost universally accepted and backed the program. Exceptions were found in the rural Midwest and among some radicalized western members of Congress. After Medicare became law in 1965, Republicans continued to hammer away for a few years but by the mid 1970’s even many conservatives had dropped it as an issue and were acknowledging it was irreplaceable.
I have no doubt as the American public including those on the right who have been worked into a frenzy by FOX News, Newsmax and talk radio will eventually see the benefits of the ACA as the same sort of entitlement program as Medicare or Social Security. Votes against Obamacare, especially repeated votes against the programs will in time become major political liabilities. Maybe not in 2016 but almost certainly by 2024 (hint to Marco Rubio).
Congressman Jeff Miller, who reportedly will jump into the US Senate Race next week has voted to repeal the ACA almost 50 times. Should Miller somehow be elected to the Senate, by 2022 those votes are likely to be political killers. They might in fact be equivalent to a modern day version of the Civil Rights votes of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Bad votes on Civil Rights (more of which were cast by Democrats than Republicans) eventually became disqualifiers for members of Congress seeking higher office in BOTH parties. It might shock people today, but in the 1960’s any advocacy of Civil Rights in some areas were political killers – short term gain for long term failure politically. The votes of many Republicans on the ACA and the advocacy of some corporate driven and spineless Democrats to gut parts of the ACA will eventually be political killers.
It may seem unlikely now, but in time the ACA will not only be the law of the land, but will be wildly popular and accepted by conservatives. Miller, Rubio and the rest of the Republicans ought to get their licks in now, because in time it will be a political killer. Similarly, those Democrats including many in Florida who have wanted to “fix” the ACA or “reopen” discussion of Health Care will find winning Democratic nominations increasingly difficult.