According to a new CNN poll, Americans are bored with the endless attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare in Washington. The site found that the number of Americans still craving relief from the Affordable Care Act is dwindling, just as the news comes that the Senate can neither pass their latest version of replacement nor find the votes for a clean repeal.
As repeal and replace falters, more say GOP should abandon repeal plan
A new CNN poll conducted by SSRS finds a growing share of Americans want to see the GOP abandon its effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law known as Obamacare, as majorities across party lines want congressional Republicans to aim for a bill with bipartisan support.
Overall, 35% in the poll say they’d like President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress to give up their plans for repealing and replacing Obamacare, up from 23% who said the same in a March survey.
A majority still favor some form of repeal (34% would prefer repeal with replacement at the same time, and 18% favor repeal regardless of whether the law is replaced at the same time). The share in favor of repeal without replacement has held roughly steady since March; it remains the least popular option.
But public preferences are shifting away from repealing the law and enacting replacements concurrently (down from 59% in March), and more now say they’re unsure how they want Republican leaders to proceed (13% say so in the new poll).
The Republican base is still firmly behind the conservative effort to leave this misbegotten foray into government healthcare in the dust bin of history, but it is an unfortunate fact that the majority of Americans are not independent, conservative-minded individuals. And while it would be nice to live in an imaginary fantasy world where the Republican Party could win elections by catering only to those who have studied the founding of the country, pored over the writings of Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley, and still keep a portrait of Ronald Reagan in a place of honor over the mantle, it’s just not reality. Reality, unfortunately, is that once the federal government unveils a new entitlement, it is very difficult – if not impossible – to roll it back. Even a little.
So it may be that Republicans didn’t so much “fail” their voters in 2017; it may be simply that the window of opportunity has passed. If we could get in a time machine and go back to 2012 and elect Mitt Romney in conjunction with a Republican Congress, things would be different. At that time, the law had barely gone into effect. It would have been a trivial matter for Republicans to make good on their promise to abolish the law without hearing howls of indignation from every corner of the country. Alas, we can’t live in the past.
Now, with virtually no other option on the table, Republicans will probably have to sit down with Democrats and come up with some sort of system that can stabilize the current state of Obamacare. And whatever they come up with, it’s going to taste quite bitter. But even in this effort, they must be careful; Democrats are getting louder and louder about single-payer. Once you let one toe of socialism in the door, it isn’t long before the rest of the foot wants to come through.