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.