During a six-week period of time that no one could have imagined, President Obama became the man who fell to earth. Much of the commentary since the launch of Obamacare has rightfully centered on the remarkable collapse of the program and the even more shocking and utter management failure of this presidential-legacy issue by Mr. Obama and his inner circle. While the downward shift in support by most Americans in light of the fiasco is not surprising, the retreat of women from the president is most significant.
Why are women finally beginning to reject Mr. Obama? Because he betrayed their trust. It’s personal. With the truth of Obamacare on the table for all to see, including the higher premiums, the canceled policies, the excluded doctors and hospitals, the original targeted marketing of Obamacare to women has now been exposed as the cynical and manipulative fraud it really was. It would have been bad enough, but perhaps forgivable, had Mr. Obama simply been wrong or made a major mistake. To have flagrantly lied, though, about an issue fundamental to our health and future, is particularly unacceptable to women — the very people on whom he has relied for his elections and for support of his legislative agenda.
Large parts of the American public have been disillusioned to discover that Mr. Obama is not the man they thought him to be. It could hardly have been otherwise, given the cold reality that he has fumbled or grossly mishandled a variety of serious domestic and foreign-policy issues (jobs at home, the economy, the debt, a “red line” for Syria, support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Iran and the bomb). Disillusionment is degenerating to distrust, as a majority of Americans are coming to the conclusion that he lied about the essential premise of Obamacare, his signature legislation.
While Mr. Obama’s already cratering approval ratings have grown worse across the board with Obamacare’s disastrous rollout and its millions of policy cancellations, what has surprised pundits and the mainstream media the most is the dramatic drop of support for Mr. Obama among women as well. It shouldn’t have, because it is nothing new. In the heat of the aftermath of Mr. Obama initially cramming Obamacare down Americans’ throats, the 2010 midterms set many records, including a majority of women voting for Republicans for the first time since 1982, when exit polls began tracking that demographic. Despite all of Mr. Obama’s pandering to women about birth control and abortion, women voted for Republicans who unanimously voted against Obamacare and promised to “repeal and replace” or defund it.
From the beginning, many women on both sides of the aisle saw Obamacare as a threat to their health care freedom of choice. Their votes in 2010 confirmed a rejection of the effort to nationalize that most private aspect of our lives — our relationship with our doctors. What was Mr. Obama’s reaction to that rejection? Determined to quell women’s fears of higher prices and losses of choice and privacy, he doubled down on the rhetoric we now know was a lie — that not only would the law make health care “more affordable,” but “You can keep your doctor if you want to, and you can keep your plan if you like it. Period.”
As many critics of Obamacare predicted, however, in order to curb costs, massive numbers of doctors are not included in a majority of the Obama-compliant insurance plans, and major hospitals throughout the country have either opted out or are not included in the new system. Like everyone else in the individual insurance market, pregnant women are being thrown off their existing policies and told to choose another “better” plan. The problem is not just the higher premium cost, but, in many cases, the realization that they’re losing their doctors and preferred hospital. This is a matter of utmost importance to women, who utilize the medical system more than men, and thus are more likely to have longer, established relationships with their doctors. Whether they’re dealing with pregnancy, a heart condition, pain issues or the physical impact of menopause, women have doctors who have likely seen them through many stages of life.
The unfolding realities of Obamacare and its destruction of health insurance plans and personal, patient-doctor relationships confirm women’s fears that health insurance under Obamacare is not superior, but is quite inferior to health care they were free to choose before this regrettable law was in force. What women voted against in 2010 has come true, and we’re not happy about it. This may come as surprise to Mr. Obama and the people in his inner circle, but women’s health care involves more than sound bites and pithy one-liners.
With all the bad news descending on Mr. Obama as a direct result of his high-handedness and deceit on Obamacare, surely nothing could come as a greater shock to him than that women, the one constituency he has relied on the most, other than blacks, refuse to be swindled out of their health care freedoms and to be used to help perpetrate this massive fraud on the American people.
Tammy Bruce is a nationally syndicated talk-show host and Fox News contributor.