by Ken Feltman
A reader’s question: “You have not talked about healthcare much lately. Is it fading as an issue?
No, as shown last Tuesday by the 71 percent of Missouri voters who approved prohibiting the federal government from requiring people to buy health insurance. Ask what the Missouri vote meant, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “nothing.”
Gibbs may be correct that the federal government can preempt state law on health insurance. But in glibly dismissing the Show Me state’s voters, he conveyed the White House’s increasing anxiety over the upcoming elections. Watch for other examples of frustration boiling over.
Contrary to White House predictions, voters do not seem to like Obamacare better the more they learn about it. The opposite is true, especially as details about “hidden” or deferred taxes and mandates surface.
Publicly, White House staffers try to put on a happy face. Privately – and publicly in last week’s and today’s comments by Gibbs – they are beginning to reveal tension.
The White House is full of gallows humor and short tempers show the stress of an unhappy work environment as well as descending poll numbers. Expect it to get worse.