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the grass is always greener
Obamacare Popularity Creeps Back Up

The Affordable Care Act has been underwater in public opinion polls from the day it passed. Republican attacks on the law as a heavy-handed takeover of the healthcare system resonated as the law failed to deliver on its cost-control promises or build a durable political coalition that felt it had a stake in its success. But now that the Democrats have been kicked out of power (in no small part because of the law’s unpopularity) the GOP’s clown car of a repeal effort has made many Americans decide that things could be worse after all. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Americans are starting to warm up to the Affordable Care Act amid concerns about Republicans’ efforts to dismantle it, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

The portion of Americans who think the 2010 law is a “good idea” is 45%, according to the new survey, its highest mark since pollsters began asking about President Barack Obama’s vision for a health overhaul in April 2009. The latest number compares with 41% who think the health law, sometimes called Obamacare, is a “bad idea.”

As we noted earlier this month, the labyrinthian American healthcare mess resembles a Gordian knot that should be unraveled with patience and care. Instead, the Republicans are floundering as they looks for ways to hack away at it with brute force.

The GOP has spent altogether too much energy raging against the Affordable Care Act and altogether too little developing and building support for market-oriented replacement schemes (and there are several out there) that would improve significantly on the existing system. This shortsightedness is now imperiling the entire project of Obamacare repeal that the party has committed itself to for the past six years.

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  • Anthony

    Quote of day: “my favorite recent poll finding was that so many Republicans hate Obamacare but love the ACA.”

    • FriendlyGoat

      That’s because they hate the word Obama—–but prefer not either going medically broke or spending every day in fear that they will.

      • Anthony

        From your keyboard to God’s eyes.

      • Anthony

        Something of interest: An aside, about 42%-43% of eligible voters did not show up in November’s election; if and when that apathetic crowd of Americans realized what’s up, then maybe the country (for posterity’s sake) can right its path.

        • FriendlyGoat

          I thought a lot of people would realize “what’s up” after Reagan, but a lot of them never did. During the interim, I personally went from my thirties to my sixties. Some of the older Reagan-era citizens have now passed on. Younger folks have now come in and will need to see the process repeated, apparently, but while that is going on there is long-term damage which takes place. Some never know what happened and are then willing to blame everything ELSE.

          • seattleoutcast

            I don’t understand why the elites are always republicans. Do people in the evil corporations suddenly become good when they join the government? Or do government employees suddenly become evil when they join a corporation?

            My point is that there are bad eggs everywhere, and by limiting yourself to one faction, you are missing the big picture. Keep both sides fighting is the elite mantra and you are playing into their hands.

          • FriendlyGoat

            “Elites” are not necessarily “bad eggs”. Elites are people who live better than most others, who read more and think on higher and more independent levels than most others, who have personal freedom from financial worry which exceeds that of most others, and who generally enjoy their lives more than most others. They are not—–by any stretch of imagination—–all liberals, or entertainers, or government functionaries, or feminists or tree-huggers. Most of them actually are in high levels of free enterprise and embrace conservative economics. You find them in country clubs and on Sundays in the fall in NFL stadiums from the suites to the mere season ticketholders. You find them following the Nascar circuit and you find them driving the A-class motor homes around the country when they retire. At the very high end, they join Trump’s golf clubs, even Mar-a-Lago.

            My point is that the Duck Dynasty fans who gripe about “elites” simply DO NOT KNOW who they are—–for the most part——griping about.

          • Anthony

            Yes, Amazing Times, FG, but only if you keep your head in proverbial sand. You’re welcome and I’m glad you found link of use. People cite Reagan often but I’m convinced few know his history (presidential) and fewer still bother to really question “what’s up”. Pait, on another thread (Trump and Truth), provides a simple description of elite and populists reaction. Finally and regarding Faith Leaders, you know that with leadership comes responsibility – people are affected (when faced with responsibility we should ask…[1st Chronicles]).

            As an aside, here’s a thought shared with me: “right-wingers on these threads who can never let a liberal comment go by without racing to make offensive, irrelevant replies must have a certain kind of authoritarian personality that compels a strike.” I don’t know but thought you could see something in quote.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, I have indeed seen some “strikes”.

          • Anthony

            Thanks for the laugh!

        • seattleoutcast

          Anthony, there is always a high number of people who do not vote. I think that is a very good thing. I don’t want people voting who don’t pay attention.

          I do believe, but I could be wrong, is that one reason Obama won in 2012 was that Romney was such a pathetic candidate many republicans didn’t vote. The same can be applied here with regards to Hillary.

          • Anthony

            Yeah, O.K.

      • seattleoutcast

        I already know people who are broke thanks to Obamacare. That is why those people voted for Trump.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Perhaps, but those are not the people who put Trump over the top. That is because far more people have been helped by PPACA than have been hurt by it. What you don’t have for comparison purposes is any alternative history of 2014, 2015 and 2016 without PPACA if it had never been passed. Medical care and insurance were expensive before and without this act. There is no evidence at all that PPACA made the country worse off than it would have been. Organized griping, yes. Evidence, no.

  • Genesis123

    I still think rushing to repeal Obamacare is foolish. The law was being kept alive by illegal manipulations of Obama Administration. Let it fall on its own. Make Americans like ACA a little bit less.
    I hope Republicans take this opportunity to do a good job (market oriented solution) instead of a quick job.
    This applies to all jobs, whether or not they blow.

    • Andrew Allison

      As foolish as rushing to enact an unread and understood bill on a party-line vote before Scott Brown took office? ACA is a disaster, and need to be fixed. I doubt that the so-called “stupid party” will be so stupid as to screw things up up any more badly than Obama did..

  • FriendlyGoat

    Nobody from the official GOP has even wanted to tell truth about PPACA or real alternatives for the last six years. They have been liars to a name on this issue. If they were not liars on this issue, they would not be in a “clown car” now—–as they obviously are. They would have long ago created a complete (complete) alternative scenario in which details (DETAILS) were so well-explained and far in advance that everyone would know exactly (exactly) how replacement would work BEFORE anyone was asked to vote for Republicans to enact the replacement.

    We will soon be learning that Republicans seriously have no ideas other than tort reform, expanding HSA deductions for people who already have a lot of money and destroying all semblance of policy standards with “selling (thin and cheap) insurance across state lines” from some redneck state capital. This will be accompanied by initial funding of temporary high-risk pools with such funding drastically diminished in future years after the budget is further busted with high-end tax cuts. America’s white evangelical church was very dumb about this when it elected an alignment of Republicans. Whether it ever wakes up enough to know an insurance detail from a turnip is an open question. In Kentucky after all, we hear that a lot of folks liked KYnect but voted for Trump to repeal it because they didn’t know Obamacare and KYnect are the same thing.

    • seattleoutcast

      So instead we bankrupt the country, go into massive debt and make our children and grandchildren slaves so you can have a free Hoverround.

      If you think the ACA was good, why is our health care still more expensive than the rest of the world? Why did the evil, evil insurance companies sign onto the ACA?

      • FriendlyGoat

        1) I don’t have a Hoverround and don’t need one. I’m now paying premiums to Medicare and so far, my claims are zero. Prior to that, my medical claims of the last 10 years in purchased insurance are maybe $500 total. Prior to that, my medical claims on purchased insurance and in group plans for all of adult life probably do not exceed $2,000 ever. I have been paying in—–not taking out.

        2) The reason our medical costs are so high is that both medicine and insurance in this country are under-regulated. Countries with low costs and good outcomes do socialized medicine to a greater degree than we do it.

        • seattleoutcast

          I recommend this piece, he explains it far better than I ever could:

          Remember: dīvide et īmpera. Being one sided is not helpful.

          • FriendlyGoat

            If your side actually ran on the “let them eat cake” philosophy you like to read, we would be a better country (because it would never win office.) Mr. Trump, however, ran on “something fantastic” for health care and is now expected to deliver it.

            The fact of the matter is that most men cannot just pay cash and they know it. Neither do they intend to go out to the shed and shoot themselves in despair of personal failure because they cannot get medical help for their wives, children and parents when needed.

  • Dale Fayda

    If this election cycle has taught anybody anything, is that opinion poles are beyond worthless.

    TAI, et al can parse every newest pole on Obamacare any way they want – this pile of puke of a law is toast. Its edifice is rotten; all the GOP has to do is pull out just one of the pillar (individual mandate, for example) and the whole thing collapses. And pulled out they shall be!

    Personally, I believe that Obamacare has to be repealed comprehensively, root & branch. Only then can the heavy and unpleasant political lifting of unwinding the expensive and convoluted mess that is American healthcare truly begin.

    “Instead, the Republicans are floundering as they looks for ways to hack away at it with brute force.” Wishful thinking! Trump is not even in office and the Senate GOP has already taken the first step in repealing this abomination:

    How much does anyone want to bet that the House follows suit in prompt order?

    My big concern is that some of the twitchy weasels in the GOP will lose their nerve and try to have it both ways – affect a partial repeal, but leave some of Obamacare’s provisions in place. There is no painless way to unwind a major government program, even a failed one like Obamacare, so it remains to be seen how their spines hold up. My feeling is that Obamacare will be 90% – 95% eliminated before the end of 2018.

  • Andrew Allison

    “the GOP’s clown car of a repeal effort”? Is it really necessary to point out to the snowflakes at TAI:
    a) that the GOP has, in fact, made several proposals for the replacement of ACA, and
    b) that you don’t have the slightest idea what the future holds.

    • Eurydice

      But the snowflakes are obliged to have opinions every single day, such an inconvenience during a time of little real information. And the business model requires multiple visits and comments, even if those comments are just complaints about lack of content. So, happiness all around. 🙂

  • QET

    That the US public wants the government to figure out how to pay for all its health care without inconveniencing it with higher taxes, penalties, limited doctor and hospital options, co-pays, etc. is no secret. To the extent that one’s political philosophy of “good governance” is that the people should be promised and given whatever they say they want whenever they say they want it, then you have to throw in with the Democrats as being the purest and best example of this philosophy. But if you believe that good governance requires adhering to the foundational principle of the US federal government, which is that it is limited government, by design incapacitated from merely serving the majority’s fickle desires; if you believe that good governance consists of educating the citizenry in the advantages and strengths of limiting the reach of the central government over the long term; if your view of humanity is not limited to its consumer side only; then you are prepared either to say “No” to both the ACA and any substitute, or you are prepared to prioritize it and pay for it by diverting funds used for other programs–social security, medicare, education, research; and you are prepared to manage the expense by not allowing 10 million+ illegal immigrants to benefit from it. The GOP, as a political party, has conclusively demonstrated that it is not prepared to do any such thing, which should come as a surprise to exactly no one. The GOP is a weaker and less effective version of the Democrats. The only reason to support it is in the hope that its SCOTUS appointees will be more Scalias and Thomases.

  • Boritz

    I didn’t know the Obamacare popularity creeps were down.

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