Americans Support Repealing HCR? Not If You Ask Them…

When the newly-minted GOP decided that its first order of business was a largely ceremonial "repeal" of the Affordable Care Act, they did two things that may not auger well for their party's continued success in elections.

First... the bill's dumb name: "Repealing the Job-Killing Healthcare Law Act." In one fell swoop, the GOP made clear that today's conservatism has pretty much completely abandoned any pretense of being an intellectual movement. Buckley-esque conservatives might want to look elsewhere in this Tea-addled universe; reasonable folks in the "middle" on these issues might wonder why GOP leadership is willing to abide such silliness.

Way more interesting, though, is the GOP's utter misread on what the American people really want in terms of heath care in this country. For example: one thing people don't want is to see is much, if any, of the law repealed, as noted by WaPo's Greg Sargent.

Yes, when polled broadly, Americans will answer -- about 40 percent for (vs. 48 percent against) the repeal of the law; but only in answer to THAT question. Yes or no. Up or down.

When asked whether they're repeal the whole thing or just part of it, the number for full repeal drops to 20 percent.

When asked about very specific components, repeal drops almost completely off the chart. The individual mandate is the most hated specific in the law -- at a whopping 11 percent favoring repeal. For other aspects of the law, support for repeal drop to one percent or below:

The pattern is overwhelmingly clear: When people are offered a range of options, rather than just a straight-up choice between leaving the bill as is or getting rid of it entirely, multiple polls show that support for the latter drops fast. Yet this point is almost entirely absent from the discussion.

BTW, as you watch these fiscally prudent, cut-anything-that-moves conservatives wend their way through these grandstanding, meaningless votes on crazy-named "legislation" aimed at appeasing their base, remember the $12 million per day it costs to run the House. Just sayin'.

Previous Comments


And they've also abandoned any sense of fiscal prudence by ignoring the fact that repealing the bill would actually add to the deficit.

golden eagle

I understand the concern over the mandate -- you'll essentially get fined (taxed) if you don't have health insurance; some folks will get subsidies and tax credits to offset the cost, and we're sticking with an employer-centric system, so there's more burden on businesses to offer policies. But the truth about the Affordable Care Act is that many, many provisions are popular; the GOP might be well-served politically to heed the President's suggestion in the SOTU to find ways to improve the law without trying to overturn it.

Todd Stauffer


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