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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Kilgore: GOPsters Embrace ‘Hate the Whole, Love the Parts’ Paradox

At The Washington Monthly Political Animal, TDS Managing Editor Ed Kilgore illuminates the “hate the whole, love the parts” paradox that pops up in just about every in-depth opinion poll addressing the Affordable Care Act. Commenting on the findings of the latest Reuters-Ipsos poll, Kilgore adds clarity to the discussion throughout his post, especially in this excerpt commenting on surprising Republican support for key ACA provisions:

Greg Sargent called up the pollsters and got more partisan breakdowns, and it’s interesting to see how far the “hate the whole, love the parts” sentiment penetrates into GOP ranks…Greg thinks these numbers simply reflect GOP opposition to the law on grounds that it’s Obama’s. That’s undoubtedly a big part of it, but a complete lack of understanding as to how insurance markets work is a factor as well. You can bet GOP pols will be telling their base and independent voters alike that can get all the rich chocolatey goodness of the above reforms via a somewhat different menu of individual tax credits, high-risk pools, interstate insurance sales, medical savings accounts, association health plans, and maybe tort reform. It would not be true by any stretch of the imagination, but so long as they can keep holding such “ideas” out as an alternative to reenactment of the popular provisions of ObamaCare, they might be able to keep their folks placated for a while, particularly if an eliminated individual mandate leads to higher premiums that can be blamed on the surviving parts of the law. In the end, though, the Republican “agenda” on health care will amount to a big bait-and-switch, even for Republican voters.

Kilgore concludes with a note on the importance of Dems protecting Medicaid from GOP attacks after the upcoming Supreme Court ruling, as a critical component of anything that purports to be serious health care reform. Without it, “the whole effort to move towards universal access to affordable health care will fail, regardless of what happens on all the regulatory issues.”

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