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ACA at the ballot box
Pew: Obamacare Support Sags

After more than six years since it was signed into law by President Obama, and three years since its rollout, the Affordable Care Act is struggling to win a place in the hearts of many Americans. The last time Pew ran the survey, in 2015, people were pretty evenly split in their assessments of the law. Since then, however, they have started to like it less and less:


Digging deeper into the numbers, you can see that the law is most popular with black and Hispanic voters, and with younger voters as well. Republican support has fallen off a cliff, with only 9 percent in favor, while support among Democrats has actually edged up, from 77 to 78 percent. Independent support edged down by 6 percentage points.

Obamacare has always a partisan issue, and it’s only becoming more so, with its supporters roughly making up the core of the Democratic coalition. Tepid support among independent voters must be of concern to Dem leaders, but is perhaps attenuated by solid support among minorities. (44 percent of Hipsanics identified as independents in a recent Pew poll, for example.)

If Hillary Clinton wins in November, we can expect very little appetite in the White House for any kind of thoroughgoing reforms (unless, of course, events intervene and the whole system truly starts to totter). And that could indicate that the party lines will harden even more, making the ACA a prime candidate for political football for many an election to come.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    If Republican working people actually understood the real-life implications for them after the GOP replaces Obamacare with nothing but “selling insurance across state lines”, these poll numbers would be much different. Almost no one seems to understand that “affordable” health insurance to a Republican means lower premiums with NO REGARD at all for how much less protection a policy offers. The “free market” absolutely is not going to sell good insurance cheap and incur losses doing so. It can’t and it isn’t going to, because it can’t.

    Meanwhile, “average Joe and Jane on group plans” don’t get it that after their dear Republicans kill the federal policy standards AND effectively kill the state standards of 49 states, that then the proverbial boss may just switch their group to the skimpiest thing approved by the least-regulated state in the country. Once that happens, workers are absolutely powerless to do a single thing about it. But, since they don’t seem to know, it’s bitch, bitch. bitch about Obamacare.

    • Dale Fayda

      Obamacare is dying a slow, painful death. Every single one of its selling points had turned out to be a complete fabrication. It had killed off more existing insurance plans than any other government program ever and its failures are so glaring that even it s staunches defenders are running out of excuses. But to the likes of you it’s “working”, right?

      • FriendlyGoat

        I just described to you the proposed replacement and I’m not blowing smoke. The latest GOP plan I know of is the American Health Care Reform Act of 2015, introduced to Congress as a bill in June, 2015. The text is here:

        You can find out how “across state lines” is to work at Section 401.

        • Dale Fayda

          Even if your assertions were 100% accurate, that doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare, that “big f@#$%&g deal” that Biden called it is a total failure in all of its stated goals. Free market invariably brings abundance and affordability; governmental control brings chaos and scarcity, which is what we have now with this current monstrosity.

          As such, I will apply your own logic to this conversation… Obamacare is plainly dying, but instead of defending it as “working”, as even you can’t really do in good faith anymore, you bitch, bitch, bitch about the unenviable (but necessary) efforts to put it out of its predictable ( and predicted) misery.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Actually I do think that Obamacare is working as well for people overall as can be expected—–because health insurance is a HARD issue and a tremendous exposure for those who lack it in a decently-written form.

            First of all, I do not expect a GOP president at all and maybe no longer a GOP Senate. Cruz is done. If Trump is elected, I think he might surprise the right with his unwillingness to screw health insurance for the whole country.

            But—-IF—-that does somehow happen, working people are going to lose bigtime. There is no other possible answer given the size of medical costs. I don’t like that idea, in part because I helped administer a group plan for 1000 workers years ago in manufacturing. It was very generous because times were different and that employer was generous-minded. I know how important this stuff is and just as I go to Medicare, I hate to see other younger people hung out to dry.

          • Tom

            No matter what happens, we’re hung out to dry. The only question is just how bad the wind’s going to be, and whether or not our kids will be too.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, that’s true, and why I’m a Democrat. If I could have had Ralph Nader 15 years ago, that would have been better. Young people are in a very big mess and the GOP is not going to do a single thing for them but accelerate the wealth gap and talk about freedom for bootstrap pullers (on breaks between passing bathroom bills and indemnifying the Bushmaster industry).

          • Tom

            You don’t get it, do you? The Democrats are hanging us out to dry, and tying our hands in the process. The GOP at least is willing to leave our hands free.

          • FriendlyGoat

            No, I don’t get “that” at all. I haven’t been getting “that” for about 35 years now. And I do read at right-side places regularly, actually looking for anything with a real bright side. But it’s pretty empty stuff.

            This TAI piece, for instance, can report on polls about how bad people think ACA is—–but where’s the beef? I know what HSA’s are and how well they can work for wealthy people. I know what selling across state lines is. I know what a return to medical underwriting is. I know decent insurance is several hundred a month per person depending on age and I know people and their employers in many cases don’t have it.

          • Tom

            Of course you don’t get it. Because you have this need to believe that the GOP is uniquely bad, and that Democrats are bad only when they follow the GOP.
            Me? I know the GOP gives no cares about me and mine. But as near as I can tell, the Democrats are actively hostile.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am one leftist who—-despite all our debates here—-does not wish to be “hostile” to you or to the entire church, as some in the GOP-sympathizing church now perceive. Most certainly there are people on my left side who are “over the top” with unnecessary smugness and bad attitude. Among famous ones coming to mind would be Bill Maher in entertainment and Jessica Valenti in feminism. Certainly there are others.

            I am also a married-to-a-woman, never-had-a-gay-feeling-in-my-life fellow who believes that Obergefell is correct legal policy and not an assault on me or anyone else. But,,,,,,apparently many others don’t see it that way. I certainly feel that it or reaction to it should not be driving anything whatsoever related to economic policy. As far as I can tell, Republicans have no intention of letting it go—–even as it is effectively already “gone” in the rear view mirror, highly unlikely to be reversed ever. If they’re gonna keep trying to sell tax cuts, deregulation, AGW disinterest, guns, and the rest of the GOP platform on it, they are going to pollute politics and pollute the church even more.

          • Tom

            FG, I’ll take it at your word that you’re not.
            Your party leadership and the hardcore activists, however, undoubtedly are.
            And when I say, me and mine, I don’t just mean conservative Christians. I mean people who, if they’re getting money from the government, want to be providing service for it. I mean people who get that politics and economics are downstream from culture. I mean people who actually get TANSTAAFL.

          • Dale Fayda

            “Working as well for people overall as can be expected”? Which part(s) are working, in your opinion?

            One of the main architects of Obamacare concedes that it’s not lowering, but raising costs: Almost every week brings another story of unaffordable premium and deductible hikes for Obamacare plans; its co-ops are failing at a dizzying rate; its enrollment projections are way below estimates; Medicaid expansion is already destroying state budgets:; several state exchanges have spectacularly imploded, taking hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars with them; insurers are already bailing out of the Obamacare exchanges:; its total cost projections are way above what was predicted:, etc.

            It’s “working”, you think?

    • Boritz

      Cheer up.  You got your legislation.  It’s “the law of the land” except for the parts that have illegally been delayed and unenforced because it would have been a bigger train wreck even sooner.  Pop a champagne cork and celebrate.  This is as good as it gets.

      • FriendlyGoat

        It may be “as good as it gets”. There never were easy answers to getting any of the uninsured actually covered.

        • bannedforselfcensorship

          Switzerland managed to get 97% covered.

          Because they have a real mandate. Obama can’t have a real mandate because he wants to give his voters something for nothing.

          • FriendlyGoat

            What does it take for us to gin up a real mandate to cover 97%? For that matter, what does it take for us to gin up real commitment to real medical cost control? One would think we could at least take direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs off of TV for starters, no?

          • Anthony

            Pardon the interruption, but here’s your regular case (“their party has historically won elections by appealing to racial enmity and cultural anxiety, but its actual policy agenda is dedicated…above all through tax cuts for the rich.”) being made elsewhere:

            This is not to interfere with your ongoing exchange but this is where I found your most recent input to inform.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks, I’m glad to be an independent junior (way junior) partner with the thoughts of Paul Krugman. There are several good lines in that piece. I particularly like “The Republican establishment has been routed because it has been playing a con game on its supporters all along, and they’ve finally had enough.”

          • Anthony

            Because of the lines and echoing of your positions, I thought it was must read for you. As an aside, DISQUS has a “Troll” indicator that I’ve just been made aware of (within last 36hrs.) – a heads up. And, you’re welcome.

          • Jim__L

            I’m curious what your definition of “troll” might be.

          • Anthony
        • Thor Skov

          Actually, we did not get our legislation. What we wanted was a single-payer plan with everyone insured, hard bargaining by the government with the pharmaceutical companies, and an end to the ridiculously inefficient overhead of the health care industry.

          • FriendlyGoat

            As I understand it, Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff, came to the perhaps-correct-perhaps-not conclusion that it was un-achievable in that Congress (or any Congress) and gave it away as “off the table”.

  • bill_owens

    Central planning bears predictably unappetizing fruit.

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