The Kaiser Family Foundation has been conducting extensive public-opinion research on the Affordable Care Act since “Obamacare” became law, and the latest results are striking. KFF’s report this week found 54% of Americans now have a favorable opinion of the health care law – the strongest support to date.
It’s against this backdrop that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) delivered remarks yesterday, suggesting those who support the ACA – which is to say, a majority of the country – are idiots.
“We also finally did away with the individual mandate tax that was established under that wonderful bill called ‘Obamacare,’ Hatch, who is retiring after this term, said while discussing the Republican tax overhaul.
“Now, if you didn’t catch on, I was being very sarcastic. That was the stupidest, dumbass bill that I’ve ever seen. Now, some of you may have loved it. If you do, you are one of the stupidest, dumbass people I’ve ever met.”
Now, I could respond to this by pointing out what a terrible shame it is to see Orrin Hatch, at the end of his career, throw away his stature so carelessly with juvenile rhetoric.
Or I could point out how ironic it is to see the Utah Republican deliberately insult the American majority after his appeals for civility and respectful discourse.
Or perhaps I could marvel at how popular the Affordable Care Act is compared to the Congress and the White House that are so eager to tear the American health care system apart.
But I’m not going to go those routes, because there’s a better point to emphasize: Orrin Hatch boasted yesterday about the demise of the individual mandate, but do you know who used to sponsor legislation to create an individual mandate?
That would be Orrin Hatch, who hates “Obamacare” for reasons he’s never really been able to explain in a coherent way.
Postscript: The senator’s office yesterday said Hatch’s tantrum directed at ACA supporters was made “in jest.” Whether anyone will actually believe this defense is unclear.