Obamacare just got its second piece of bad PR news this week. Earlier in the week a new poll found that an important bloc of Democrats in three midterm swing states oppose the ACA. Now, in Virginia, new research found that a majority of state residents oppose the Medicaid expansion there. This is significant because quite recently, in February, a majority of residents supported it. And as WaPo notes, the swing appears to be bipartisan:
“Democrats are losing the debate on expanding Medicaid in Virginia,” said professor Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy. He noted that even in Democratic-heavy Northern Virginia, voters only supported Medicaid expansion by a 2 percent margin.
Whether or not Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe eventually pushes the expansion through, this shift represents a huge problem for the ACA in general. One undercurrent of the Obamacare debate is that supporters seem to believe they merely have a messaging problem. If only they could be granted more time and political space to explain things better, public opinion would shift in their direction. But in Virginia, at least, as time goes on opinion is moving away from them. If the state proves to be a bellwether in this regard, resistance to aspects of the ACA runs deeper than its supporters yet realize.