I hate what if stories as much as lawyers deal with hypotheticals, but here goes. I'll keep it short and sweet.
If in whatever tricky procedure the House passes health reform legislation, the White House immediately must marshal its special interest supporters on a massive ad campaign to educate the public.
It must explain what provisions of the landmark legislation goes into effect immediately and what features will not kick in for three to four years.
I have followed the legislation more closely than the average Joe but still would flunk the class quiz on what does and doesn't take effect. You can imagine the dismay and irritation of the public when these facts settle in.
There's good reason for the time schedule implementation dates but the White House and supporters of the measure almost never tell you that. This problem will manifest itself immediately with most people, I would guess, would ask "why the big rush and urgency" when measures that would help them won't for a period of time they can no longer afford.
Despite all the railing and whining we hear and read on the Internet, the American people tend to fall in love with their entitlement programs and Congress wouldn't dare eliminate them or face expulsion from office.
Health reform is a slightly different beast. Unless the public understands and accepts its phase-in quirks as early as this November's midterm elections, all hell will break loose and play into opponents' campaign propaganda.
This is one of the rare occasions where I congratulate conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh for pounding away and pointing out the reform package has these delayed triggers.