Interestingly, 36 percent of self-described conservatives now support the law, as opposed to 17 percent last November. How that will play into November 2014 congressional elections remains to be seen. However, it’s already become clear to the saner sorts of conservative thinker that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.
The market has spoken. The political rebellion and/or actuarial collapse dreamed of on the right clearly isn’t going to happen. “(W)herever they go and whatever they do,” writes Ross Douthat in the New York Times, conservatives “will have to deal with the reality that Obamacare, thrice-buried, looks very much alive.”
Longer term, Obamacare denialism appears even more futile. The ever-prescient Kevin Drum points out that Republicans can’t dream of repealing the law as long as its namesake lives in the White House. And by 2017, the CBO estimates the law’s benefits will extend to 36 million Americans — a formidable constituency indeed.
Gene Lyons is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He can be reached at email@example.com.