For 13 years, Gallup has been asking voters whether the the government should "make sure" Americans have health insurance. The trends hardly need any explanation, but, well, just look for the moment they flip.
We all know what happened in 2008: A Democrat won the presidency. Most voters spent the year expecting one to win. Health insurance reform was going to happen. So whose mind did it change?
There we go: The independents. In two years, from 2007 to 2009, their opposition to mandated health insurance surged by 30 points. It's stayed largely negative since then, during the Obama presidency. In the longer term, from the Bush era to the Obama era, Republicans have moved from slight majority opposition to mandates (48 to 65 percent) to supermajority opposition (77 to 87 percent).
When does that change? What if it doesn't? It's the existential fear behind all of the Democratic health care panic—the fear that a public that used to blame private insurers for the cost of health care will start blaming the feds, and never stop.
TODAY IN SLATE
Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.
The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly
How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.
A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.