Tilting at Windmills

November/ December 2011 They know not what he does

By Charles Peters

One little-noted Obama accomplishment was recently acknowledged by Kevin Sack in the New York Times. He reports that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of uninsured young adults aged eighteen to twenty-five has dropped by a margin of 900,000. This reduction was recorded just one year after the effective date of the Affordable Care Act, which made parents’ health insurance cover their dependents up to age twenty-six. Before, typical insurers had dropped coverage at age eighteen or twenty-one.
The Times ran this story on its front page. Unfortunately, this was not the case in any other newspaper I’ve seen, a fate that has been typical of the majority of the national media’s treatment of Obama’s policy successes, as emphasis is given to politics over substance.

The result is a recent New York Times poll that showed only 34 percent of Americans approved of Obama’s handling of the economy but also found that more than a majority support every item in his current stimulus proposal, including 80 percent who think it’s “a good idea to spend money on the nation’s infrastructure like bridges, airports and schools.”

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.