The Politics Of Healthcare

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 10 2012 @ 9:36am

In a poll that cements the tight race we’re facing, one nugget stood out to me:

Americans split evenly on the Supreme Court’s recent 5 to 4 decision upholding Obama’s health-care law, with 42 percent approving of the decision and 44 percent opposing it. But in a significant change, the legislation is now viewed less negatively than it was before the ruling. In the new survey, 47 percent support the law and 47 percent oppose it. In April, 39 percent backed it and 53 percent opposed it.

House Republicans will vote again this week on a measure to repeal the health-care law. In the poll, just one-third of all Americans favor repealing the legislationin its entirety or in part. At the same time, thirty-eight percent of Americans consider Romney’s support for repeal a major reason to vote for him, compared with 29 percent who say it is a major reason to vote against him.

So it’s a wash, right? But if Obama were to win this fall, it seems to me his legacy of universal healthcare will slowly become part of the American landscape. If he loses, repeal with nothing comparable to replace it will also, I suspect, be a non-starter. The big shift in acceptance of Obamacare is, in turn, John Roberts’ legacy.