On the Wednesday, December 18, All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, host Hayes fretted that uninsured Americans are not a "potent constituency" during a discussion of the debate over extending unemployment benefits.
He did not mention a CBS News/New York Times poll which ironically was released earlier in the day finding that ObamaCare is as unpopular among uninsured Americans as with the general population.
Speaking with MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein, Hayes posed:
The political economy of this is also really interesting. I remember, you know, you've written a lot about the challenge, the political challenge of, for instance, expanding health insurance in America. And it's often been the case that, you know, the uninsured aren't a particularly potent constituency.
They're not necessarily organized, even if you've got 40 million of them at a given time. We're seeing a problem right now where the unemployed are just a completely powerless constituency. It genuinely seems they, like, no one in Washington, aside from I think a core group of progressive Democrats, genuinely cares about their plight.
Klein, presumably referring back to the debate over an unemployment benefits extension in his answer, responded:
Right, and much of Washington, and this I have become very concerned about, is simply resigned to it. I mean, there are a lot of folks, there are a lot of folks who want to do something, but because the thing they want to do, they can't get it through Congress or they can't get it through the regulatory structure, they're giving up and moving on to other issues.
They're moving on to thinking about other big issues, important issues in many cases. But what it means for the unemployed is that, at this point, even the people who want to help them, they don't have the stomach for it. The fight has gone on too long. They've become too frustrated and disillusioned.