That even a slim majority of Republicans favor expansion is notable given the tone of debate on this issue on the campaign trail, where expansion has become like a third rail for GOP candidates. This is not to suggest that Republican candidates or governors who oppose Medicaid expansion in conservative states will be anxious to flip any time soon. But Medicaid may not be as unpopular with Republicans overall as the conventional wisdom suggests, and other issues may be more salient for Republican voters in primary and general elections across the country than opposition to Medicaid expansion.
The erosion of the belief in health care as a government-protected right is perhaps the most dramatic reflection of these trends. In 2006, by a margin of more than two to one, 69-28, those surveyed by Gallup said that the federal government should guarantee health care coverage for all citizens of the United States. By late 2014, however, Gallup found that this percentage had fallen 24 points to 45 percent, while the percentage of respondents who said health care is not a federal responsibility nearly doubled to 52 percent.
A new poll by McLaughlin & Associates finds that Americans strongly support having Congress advance a conservative alternative in the context of King v. Burwell.
The poll asked (question #7),
“If the Supreme Court rules that the Obama administration has been illegally paying out Obamacare subsidies in 36 states, what do you think Congress should do in response?”
Likely voters replied as follows:
“Do nothing and let people in those 36 states lose their subsidies and perhaps their insurance”: 4 percent
“Negotiate fixes to Obamacare with the Obama White House in exchange for turning the subsidies back on”: 20 percent
“Turn the subsidies back on temporarily but don’t try to fix Obamacare”: 5 percent
“Propose to effectively repeal and replace Obamacare in those 36 states with a conservative alternative that aims to help people get coverage and reduce costs”: 26 percent
“Give the states a choice between Obamacare and switching to a conservative alternative that aims to help people get coverage and reduce costs”: 25 percent
“Something else”: 8 percent
“No opinion”: 13 percent
Support for having Congress propose a conservative alternative (either for the 36 states in question or for all states that choose to switch to such an alternative) was 64 percent among Republicans and 55 percent among independents, while the most popular answer among Democrats (34 percent, compared with only 10 percent among Republicans and 12 percent among independents) was that Congress should negotiate fixes to Obamacare.
As for the voters who believed all the misrepresentations, they were more credulous than stupid. Though it was obvious to millions of us that the ironically named Affordable Care Act was never going to increase access to care while also improving quality and decreasing cost, Obama’s supporters thought he was a “post-partisan” politician who could be trusted. They failed to subject his implausible claims to serious scrutiny and therefore missed what was wrong with the rosy picture he was painting. It is these voters who should be most insulted by Gruber’s remarks. It is their naïveté that the President and his co-conspirators cynically exploited.
As the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period begins, 37% of Americans say they approve of the law, one percentage point below the previous low in January. Fifty-six percent disapprove, the high in disapproval by one point.
Notably, voters say in hindsight that America would’ve been better off with Mitt Romney as president by a 45% to 38% margin. And by a 54% to 44% margin, they say that Obama isn’t even competent enough to run the U.S. government. The news might only get worse from here for Democrats and Obama supporters. To wit, his current trajectory is downward, not upward, given such conflagrating scandals as our hemorrhaging southern border and the IRS coverup. Accordingly, we likely have not reached the nadir for Obama and Democrats generally.
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest poll on public opinion of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has found the law is more unpopular with Americans than ever before. Kaiser found in its July survey that 53 percent of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of the law, with just 37 percent saying they have a favorable opinion. That’s among the lowest favorability rating Obamacare has ever received, and it’s the highest unfavorability rating since Kaiser first began its monthly poll of Obamacare in April 2010.