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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Sargent: Obamacare Approval Enters ‘Positive Territory’

From Greg Sargent’s Plum Line post, “Morning Plum: Obama and the health law get some good poll numbers“:

The new Kaiser Family Foundation monthly tracking poll finds that Obamacare has edged ever so gingerly into positive territory: 43 percent of Americans approve of the law, while 42 percent disapprove of it.
That’s the first time the law has been in positive territory since the last presidential election. More to the point, it’s the first time the law has been in positive territory since implementation of the law began and it suffered hideous roll-out problems, followed by months and months of GOP hyping of every Obamacare horror story Republicans could find (or invent).

About time you say. Sargent adds, “46 percent of Americans overall want to move forward with implementation of it or expand it, versus 41 percent who want it scaled back or repealed. Independents are evenly split.” But he also cautions, “This is only one poll. The HuffPollster averages show the law is still a bit underwater.”
Yet, despite the non-stop Republican assault on Obamacare and their promises to offer a better alternative, which does away with individual mandates while providing protection for people with pre-existing conditions, “more than 50 months after first making such promises, they still have not hit on a consensus alternative that would do both of those things,” reports Sargent. It appears that the GOP is getting ossified internally by it’s own strategy of legislative paralysis.
Sargent concludes,

…if the Kaiser poll is right, only Republican voters remain fixated on doing away with the mandate as a leading priority — along with junking the law entirely. Meanwhile, the Kaiser poll shows that various improvements to consumer protections — which is to say, building on the ACA, not scrapping it — rank as the highest priorities for everyone else.

In the 2016 Republican convention, they will still be bashing away at Obamacare, calling for repeal and replacing it with nothing but vague promises about something better. It should be a revealing moment for alert swing voters, affirming that this is a political party which shows no signs of being able to unite behind anything resembling a credible health care alternative — a pathetic reality after 8 years of relentless Obamacare-bashing.

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