Horses, Carts, and the Order in Which They Belong

Democrats should take continued GOP opposition to Obamacare very seriously. It has serious real-world consequences. As long as states hold out against the Medicaid expansion, it could slow the law’s efforts to realize its goal of expanding coverage. One thing this means is that Democrats should redouble their efforts to regain electoral ground on the level of the states, where future decisions about the Medicaid expansion will be made.

— Morning Plum: GOP won’t give up fight against Obamacare. Dems should take that seriously., Greg Sargent, Washington Post, today

I should have known by now that neither Democratic politicians, nor their political consultants, nor virtually any progressive pundits will ever consider the possibility that it puts the cart before the horse to try to regain electoral ground on the level of the states through some generic campaign that doesn’t the issue of the Medicaid expansion—so that, once in office, the Dems can enact the Medicaid expansion.

But, no, I had thought that the one plus in the months-long concern about the outcome of King v. Burwell—which indicated the political disaster that a win for their side would cause the Republicans (they were seriously panicking)—was that the Dems and progressive pundits would recognize, finally, that providing access to healthcare for those who otherwise have no access to it is popular.  Especially, it turns out, among the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries.  And that campaigning on the issue increases the chance of winning.

But I should have recognized that once pols, consultants, and pundits get locked into a mindset about something, nothing will jar them loose from it.  Nothing.  Ever.