The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is about to turn four. Unfortunately for the law and its proponents, a recent poll shows the public’s continuous disapproval of the controversial law isn’t going anywhere — except, perhaps, up.
As the four-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, the law remains unpopular with the public. Currently, 53% disapprove of the 2010 health care law while 41% approve of the law. Opinion of the measure is virtually unchanged since last September.
The poll also pointed out, to the relief of some Obamacare supporters, that the majority of the law’s opponents want to try fix the law, rather than torpedo it.
A majority of ACA opponents – representing 30% of the public overall – want politicians to do what they can to make the law work as well as possible, compared with 19% of the public that wants elected officials to do what they can to make it fail. These opinions are little changed from December, but in the September poll opponents were more evenly divided over how they wanted elected officials to deal with the law.
Ed Morrisey at HotAir notes, however, that this statistic isn’t necessarily all that significant in the scheme of things.
Most opponents of ObamaCare who want repeal aren’t agitating for politicians to sabotage the law. They want it repealed because they believe it cannot succeed in the first place, and that it will create long-term damage to the American economy, to health care, and to personal liberty — all of which, by the way, we’ve already seen in the short term. If that’s how the question was asked (and it appears it was), those results are useless.
Meanwhile, it’s notable that the impression of ObamaCare is worse among independents (37/59) than the general population (41/53). Very few of the other demos give Democrats much reason for hope, either. Black voters are overwhelmingly in favor of it, but not to the same extent they normally support Democrats (77/18). Half of voters under 30 years of age support it, but it’s a virtual tie with disapproval (50/47), with majorities disapproving in every other age demo. The same approval percentage applies to college graduates, with all other education demos firmly disapproving of the law. Every income demo has an underwater rating; even among those earning less than $30K per year, the law gets a 45/47 virtual split.
The question then becomes this: who are the targets of the Democratic pitch on ObamaCare? Nancy Pelosi wants Democrats to run on the law as a boon to their base, but as Erika noted yesterday, Larry Sabato thinks that’s a disastrous strategy. He warns that Democrats talking about ObamaCare will only boost turnout for their opponents. This is a trap of their own making, the petard by which Democrats will hoist themselves in November. It only looks good from the safe seats, as Sabato points out, and when massive premium increases hit this fall, there may be fewer of those safe seats than Pelosi imagines.
I’m in complete agreement with Sabato and Morrisey on this. It would be disastrous for Democrats to embrace the fruits of their hyper-partisan labor four years ago.
With this in mind, I hope every Democrat running takes Nancy Pelosi’s advice. If they do, those “safe” seats are going to be hard to come by.
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