Public Divided On Repeal Of ObamaCare
According to a new Gallup poll, public opinion on repeal of the Affordable Care Act is divided at best:
PRINCETON, NJ — Americans do not strongly endorse the new Republican House majority’s efforts to repeal the landmark healthcare legislation passed last year. A new Gallup poll finds that 46% of Americans want their representative in Congress to vote to repeal the healthcare law, 40% want their representative to vote to let the law stand, and 14% have no opinion.
Gallup conducted the Jan. 4-5 poll as the new Congress elected last fall began its work. Republicans’ gains in the 2010 midterm elections were partly the result of voter frustration with the growth in the size of government, exemplified by the new healthcare law President Obama signed into law last March. Republican congressional leaders vowed to attempt to overturn the law as one of their first acts after taking majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives. However, with Democrats still in control of the Senate, it is unlikely a repeal would pass both houses of Congress, and President Obama would surely veto it if it does.
Americans’ broadly divided opinions on repealing the healthcare legislation are in line with Gallup polling from much of the past two years that showed the bill struggling to gain majority public support both before and shortly after its passage. Polls conducted more recently have shown Americans generally more opposed to than in favor of the healthcare law.
There are some interesting numbers in the partisan breakdown, though:
The fact that fully 1/4 of Democrats support repeal is, to say the least, interesting. Nonetheless, I largely agree with Mark Halperin’s take on this:
The questions on various surveys of course differ slightly, but the reality is that the health care law’s approval rating continues to hover around the 50% mark, or at least play out between the 40-yard lines. While that would suggest a tie of sorts, Democrats will remain on the defensive for the foreseeable future because of the midterm results, the press-driven meta narrative about health care, the Republicans’ simple “anti” message (versus the Democrats’ constantly shifting defenses of the program), and the weak economy. The White House closely tracks these poll numbers and clearly hopes for a significant rise in approval as time goes on (and the various provisions get phased in), but it is hard (and maybe impossible) for the administration to turn the tide anytime soon.
Of course, at the same time, the GOP’s efforts to repeal the bill are going to fail as long as there is a Democrat in the White House and less than 60 Republicans in the Senate, but the fact remains that the signature piece of legislation of Barack Obama’s first term is, if not wildly unpopular, at the very least the subject of deep division in the public.