Since Obamacare turned five, shouldn’t the law be popular now like Democrats asserted that it would be?
March 23 marked the fifth-year anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act. Within two years, President Obama won re-election boastfully basking in the nickname for the law. But then things changed. While the Administration tried to deny it, and only a few honest Democrats would admit it, Obamacare was a disaster for Democrats in the 2014 elections.
And the discontent is still quite real. A Washington Examiner editorial puts together some pretty startling evidence:
Democrats have pointed to signs of a recent uptick of support for Obamacare. But it’s worth noting that in April 2010, just after it was signed into law, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly tracking poll found that 46 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the law, compared with 40 percent who had an unfavorable view. This month, just 41 percent have a favorable view, compared with a larger contingent of 43 percent who viewed it unfavorably. Even more staggering is that at the time the law passed, 50 percent of the uninsured viewed the law favorably, no doubt optimistic about the promises of quality, affordable healthcare. But in this month’s poll, just 31 percent of the uninsured had a favorable view. In other words, the segment of the population intended to be the primary beneficiaries of the law and who have the most reason to interact with it, have a more negative impression of the law than the broader public.
So what is to stop Republicans from abolishing the law? After all, not one Republican voted for the law. They have no reason to feel any need to restrain themselves.
One reason they won’t repeal the law might be that, even with expanded control of Congress, Republicans don’t have a veto-proof majority. So that leaves them with the option of using some kind of budget blackmail so that Obama is forced to veto something important to keep the law in place. But Republicans in leadership have clearly stated they won’t do that.
Another reason is that, even though many of the people hate Obamacare, its supporters include the big insurance companies. Big Business has far more influence on Congress than the voters do, so it is likely that it will take a lot of effort to get Congress to help the country rather than helping insurance corporations.
But the failure of the healthcare law is still evident to most people, and it is likely to become more evident as the laws hidden consequences keep revealing themselves and hurting people. We need to keep pushing this issue and make sure that the Republican presidential hopefuls know that we demand an end to Obamacare.