While both ends of the political spectrum are interpreting the recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold most of the America Care Act, the most important group of people in Colorado are on the fence on the issue.
For die hard Democrats or Republicans, the idea of anyone being on the fence about the Health Care Act is preposterous. But even though it may sound crazy to some, the fact is that many independent, unaffiliated voters are still undecided on this supposedly very influential issue.
The reason that many voters are undecided on this issue is the simple fact that much of the law has yet to really come into effect. With one side of the aisle claiming that this law will set this country back to the Stone Age and the other side of the aisle insisting that it is the most humane law passed in a generation, there is very little unbiased analysis out there for unaffiliated voters to rely upon.
This wouldn’t be an issue except for the fact that this November will essentially be a referendum on this very law. Millions of Americans will vote for President Obama because of this law and millions of other Americans will vote against him because of it.
The voters that will decide the election may also vote based on their opinion of the law. But, because the majority of the law will be enacted two years from now, their opinion will basically be based not on personal experience with the impacts of the law itself, but rather based on other opinions expressed about the law.
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns understand this fact very well. That is why that even though some legal pundits say that the SCOTUS decision clarifies the issue, politically, it will kick off an entirely new and somewhat confusing campaign.
Even though the economy is still the big issue, the Health Care Act is an issue that garners passionate opinions that are not directly tied to a social issue. That is what makes it so valuable as an election issue.
On many social issues, if people do not have a personal connection to the issue, then it is difficult to create passionate energy over the idea. But when it comes to health care, it is an issue that affects everyone in one way or another.
When you add all of these factors together, you create a perfect storm of sorts for this year’s election.
We have an important group of undecided voters who will cast a vote on a law that hasn’t directly effected them as of yet, simply waiting for a barrage of ads from both sides of the issue to help them decide how to vote on the issue.
Whether or not you have already decided your point of view on this issue, you will be a witness to this barrage of messaging that couldn’t be more polar opposite in nature. One campaign will note that this single piece of legislation is a proud piece of American history that defines progress. The other campaign will claim that this one piece of legislation will destroy the very fabric that holds America together.
It would be very nice if Americans were to have actual experience to lean on when deciding this referendum. Alas, that part of the law can’t be changed.
For better or for worse, one of the most important decisions that American voters can make will be based on opinions based not on factual experience, but on other people’s opinions.
About The Blogger
- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.