A recent poll indicated that only 34% of Americans believe the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. Sadly, the issue rests in the hands of 9 people, and yesterday did not go well yesterday at SCOTUS. I went routing around to see about finding something good to come out of everything going on with the Supremes, and it was attached to an article on the cited poll:
A 2011 poll found that 13% of those who have a poor opinion of Obamacare feel that way because they don’t think it goes far enough. Overall when taken with those who support the bill, 56% of Americans wanted the same or a more liberal healthcare reform law. For this reason, a Supreme Court ruling against the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act could provide President Obama with a political opportunity to argue for a better healthcare reform bill.
Polling data consistently demonstrates that those who are most opposed to healthcare reform are already going to vote Republican. Railing against Obamacare is a nice tool for Republicans to use in order to fire up the base, but no matter how the Supreme Court rules, President Obama shouldn’t be politically damaged either way. Much to the disappointment of the GOP, the data indicates that campaigning against healthcare reform is not their path to victory in 2012.
It's an interesting idea, that losing the SCOTUS battle might actually help in November. Perhaps I'm grasping at straws, because I don't want to see the ACA overturned, but I am encouraged by a conversation I had yesterday. One of my friends was a lifelong Republican. Her first Democratic vote was for Obama in 2008. She told me yesterday that she had always been a Republican because she believed in smaller government, and while she has mixed feelings about Obama, "I'll be voting for him. Who the hell do these Republicans think they are? Santorum saying that America should be a religious state? Romney with his money? It will be Obama again."
My friend is self-employed and one of the reasons she voted for Obama in 2008 was because she wanted health care reformed. She's incredibly healthy and pays huge premiums "just in case." Even she is hoping to see rates come down in 2014.
And so maybe today will go better in DC. We won't know until June. But if the ACA is overturned, perhaps we'll get something better. Perhaps once people can no longer get free preventative care, can no longer include their aged 23 - 27 year old kids, regain the drug donut hole and all the rest, they'll come around and support candidates who will reinstate the provisions, and go further.