According to a new CNN poll, Americans are still divided on ObamaCare. Fifty percent of those surveyed agreeing with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law, while 49% disagreed. This represents a two point increase from a Reuters/Ipsos poll released yesterday that found that 48% support the Affordable Care Act. Support for the ACA has increased from 34% in the fall of 2011 to 43% before the Supreme Court decision to 50% supporting the court’s decision today.
Republicans quickly tried to turn their Supreme Court defeat into political ammunition by reviving many of the same attacks they used against the ACA in 2009 and 2010. GOP congressional leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner revived their government takeover of healthcare talking points and called for immediate repeal of the law, but a funny thing is happening on the way back in time to 2010.
Support for the law, and the decision that ruled the law constitutional, is growing. Instead of emptily repeating the Republican cries for repeal, the media has been asking the GOP exactly what they intend to replace ObamaCare with.
When pressured by Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday on what he was going to do about the uninsured if he repealed the ACA, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell got flustered and stated that the uninsured in America aren’t an issue. As bad as McConnell’s performance was, he was outdone by Speaker of the House John Boehner. Speaker Boehner was left clinging to his general talking points about common sense reform as CBS’s Norah O’Donnell continued to pressure him to specifically state what parts of the ACA he would keep, and which parts he would repeal.
Boehner was so broken by the whole experience that a few times during the interview he actually raised his voice and yelled his answers at O’Donnell. Evidence of the GOP backtracking on the ACA can be found in the fact that when pressed Boehner and McConnell both admitted that there are good points in the law that should not be repealed.
The Republican answer to the ACA is repeal and replace, but things quickly fall apart when they asked the question, replace with what? The fact that the ACA has gone from being widely unpopular to a virtual 50/50 split in the days since the Supreme Court decision is a major problem for the GOP, and odds are that the law is going to continue to grow in popularity as insured Americans begin to receive their share of the $1.1 billion in insurance premium rebates.
Time and political momentum are working against those who are advocating for repeal. There was panic in Boehner and McConnell’s interviews, and that panic will only grow if the public continues to get comfortable with “ObamaCare.”