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ACA Agonistes
VA Voters Turn Against Obamacare

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.

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  • alanstorm

    “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.”

    Is this related to liberal’s usual attitude that their policies will SURELY work THIS time?

  • Michael Kolbe

    I think this analysis is off-base and fairly superficial in that it doesn’t adequately cover the developments that are actually going on in Virginia. There is no reason in my mind why these polls would change other than the fact that medicaid expansion has increasingly become linked to the budget as the house and senate jockey for political leverage. Virginians are growing increasingly concerned that there would be a government shutdown and localities are worried about the uncertainty of state funding and the inability for them to plan accordingly, but on the merits as a policy choice separately, I see no other reason why Virginians would have shifted in opposition to Medicaid Expansion so quickly. This has probably has little to do with opposition to the ACA overall any more than was already apparent in previous polling, so linking it to the image of the ACA overall in the state and country is probably misguided in this case.


    • Andrew Allison

      Medicaid is a welfare program, meaning that it is paid for with taxpayer dollars, not an insurance program. To think that the estimated $2 billion-a-year cost of the expansion isn’t influencing taxpayers is, at best, naive.

  • Charles Hurst

    All of these problems–and we haven’t even started the employer mandate.
    You want to solve the healthcare debacle? First they need to al and full repeal of ACA. The only group that is benefiting from ACA is the unsuccessful and entitlement class. Everyone else is paying more for their level of success. One man paying according to his ability to sustain another’s need. There is a word for that—it is called Marxism. Really, don’t
    trust my fictional works on what happens when you continue to feed the entitled
    classes—trust my source for that fiction—history.

    You solve healthcare by eliminating all insurance for routine and return to fee for
    service. They’ve done that in Oklahoma and rates of fee went down 60-80%. And
    that means no more free rides. So in other words the welfare Medicaid recipient
    doesn’t get to come in every other day for chronic back pain, all care for free
    no questions asked. Why do I have this cynical attitude toward the Medicaid
    patient? Because I was a provider for thirteen years. What I just described is
    the typical Medicaid recipient. Obese and lazy living off our tax dollars. They
    should pay too—OR adopt better lifestyles. This is not every Medicaid case—but
    it is most of them—like 90%. They are the largest abusers of the system.

    You return fee for service at much lower rates with no insurance mess to deal with.
    And then you can buy catastrophic plans for chronic disease and injury—at much
    lower rates as few would use them. But you eliminate the notion that the
    welfare and especially the illegal gets anything for free. And the truly needy
    could rely on charity organizations. You keep Medicare for the elderly—and
    crack down on the fraud which is at least 30%. Then it would sustain itself.

    Do those things and it’s solved. Neither party wants to and all Barry wants is
    more entitlements and more one man paying for another. Keep on Barry’s plan and
    our nation falls just as my fiction, based on history predicts. So since no one
    is going to actually force people to be responsible in this country I imagine
    we’ll see the Progressive on the battlefield soon.

    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. An offbeat story of Armageddon. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE

  • thrasymachus02

    Medicaid recipients get everything for free. I now have a $17,000 family deductible. There will be repercussions.

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