Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Check in the Mail

Jonathan Chait has a great catch in the crosstabs of the latest Gallup poll on health care: old people hate the ACA, everyone else loves it.  Ezra Klein points out that a large part of this is probably driven by senior dislike of Barack Obama in the first place.  I'd like to see a statistical check on that, but it sounds right to me.

Greg Sargent adds that the White House has been aggressively courting seniors on this topic.  It seems to me that two actual events -- as well as the spin surrounding them -- should be important to the future direction of public opinion among this group.  On the one hand, what's actually going to happen with the Medicare Advantage plans cut by the ACA?  Will seniors experience real cuts, and if so will they blame it on Obama and the Democrats, or on their insurance companies?  On the other hand, checks are now starting to go out to Medicare recipients who fall into the donut hole, as the first step to closing that gap.  Surely, that will be a plus for those who get the checks; will they credit Obama, the Democrats, and the ACA, and if so will that be enough to convert former skeptics? 

I don't know the answer to those questions, but I suspect they're where the next steps of this go.  I should add that as far as the politics of 2010 are concerned, it's worth noting that old people vote a lot more regularly than young people -- even without any enthusiasm effects, the electorate is likely to be quite a bit more anti-reform than the general popular.

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