Reporting from Speaker John Boehner country here in late August, sitting in Starbucks in Mason, Ohio, I don’t see or hear people who are concerned about immigration reform. However, I did hear something about Obamacare.
A friend of the family is an attorney who is practicing law in small town Ohio. I know the towns where he operates very well because I was once a National Guard Lieutenant at armories located there. Many citizens are with ancestral roots in agriculture. Farms got bigger and fewer, so subsequent generations got jobs in manufacturing industries located in the region. With the decline of manufacturing, many communities shrunk as did the business and industrial base.
Now, in Boehner country, there are some strong Fortune 500 anchors: Procter & Gamble, Macys, and Western & Southern Financial Group for instance. People are prosperous and comfortable.
As for the young attorney, he had read one of my CBS News stories about the Affordable Care Act. He said, “You know that I don’t have health insurance.” (See the story here: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2013/07/22/the-new-patients-bill-of-rights/)
I asked why, and he said that it is simply too expensive. He is looking forward to buying a plan from “The Marketplace” with hope that it will be truly affordable.
I reminded him that it will not be an option in the future. Having insurance is a mandate.
He explained that he knows that he needs health insurance, and that the Affordable Care Act will simply force the issue and help him prioritize. (That is my interpretation.)
As for immigration reform, our family has immigrants from different nations. Some are in more vulnerable situations than others. Getting resolution on immigration is a necessary and responsible thing to do. However, unless you have a dog in the hunt, the issue doesn't strike home.
Now, I read in USA Today that the GOP is taking the pulse of constituents on these issues, and they are not coming away with the sense that their constituents give much of a hoot, except for Obamacare.
Constituent concern is going to arise when people are affected by having to do something different from that to which they are accustomed. If anyone runs into a government-inspired administrative boondoggle, that will not go over well. USA Today says that the same people who have negative feelings about the healthcare law are the same ones who are not so inspired by awarding amnesty to illegal immigrants.
“Immigration bill generating little heat in town halls”