What is your opinion of the health care law?Sixty-six percent to 32 percent? Seems pretty decisive. Digging deeper, we get into the overall support/oppose question. Once again, if you combine the supporters (39 percent) and those opposing because the law doesn't go far enough (11 percent), there's more support for the law than opposition—42 percent. And once again, when taken out of the framework of "Obamacare," the separate provisions of the law remain very popular. Sargent:
It should be repealed: 32
It may need small modifications, but we should see how it works: 56
It should be left alone: 10
Sixty-five percent support banning insurance industry discrimination against preexisting conditions; 55 percent support eliminating lifetime caps on insurance company payouts for health care; and 75 percent support allowing children up to 26 to stay on parents’ policies. As always, the mandate is unpopular, but even here it’s not too bad, at 46-52. (This is only one poll, but its general findings on repeal and the popularity of the law’s provisions have been confirmed in polling for years now.)That's the dilemma for Republicans that just isn't going to go away. All of the things the law does are popular and getting rid of those provisions—which repeal would do—would cause a real public backlash. But the Republican base still wants repeal, so Republicans are stuck in the mire of giving their people what they want without taking away from everybody else. And they're still floundering, because when it comes right down to it, the only way to keep the all-important insurance industry happy and to do all of the things this law does is . . . this law. There isn't an alternative, since the pre-Obamacare status quo has been roundly rejected even by most elected Republicans.
All this means that Republican have lost this round of the debate on the issue. It might still have some traction in red districts and probably a little less—but still some—in red states for 2014. But unless some brilliant Republican somewhere comes up with an entirely new healthcare reform that no one has ever heard of, it's a dead issue for 2016.