Obamacare Takes A Turn For The Better

Sam Stein summarizes a new poll on the ACA:

The poll, which was conducted by Democracy Corps in battleground congressional districts and shared in advance with The Huffington Post, shows 52 percent of respondents want to “implement and fix” the 2010 health care reform law versus 42 percent who want to “repeal and replace” it. Those numbers were 49 percent to 45 percent, respectively, in the firm’s December poll.

The favorable trend toward Obamacare has been witnessed not just in Democratic districts but also in Republican districts.

YouGov also finds that opinion of the law, though still negative, is improving:

Although nearly half the public still believes the Affordable Care Act is mostly a failure, in this week’s poll more than ever before, 25%, are willing to say it is mostly a success, capping what has been a clearly rising trend line in positive assessment of the law.

Cohn describes Obama as “trolling the GOP” on Obamacare:

[P]revious surveys have suggested a majority of Americans simply want to move on to other issues. In the March Kaiser tracking poll, which is different from the survey Kaiser ran with Upshot, 53 percent agreed with the statement, “I’m tired of hearing about the debate over the health care law and I think the country should focus on other issues.” Just 42 percent said it was important to continue debating about the law.

Political strategy isn’t my speciality. I’m a policy guy. But in this environment, it seems to me, the most sensible approach for Obama and Democrats is to defend the Affordable Care Act aggressively—as they are increasingly doing—while trying to promote other causes, like a higher minimum wage and immigration reform, where Democratic positions are more popular. The more Republicans insist that the big debate over Obamacare is not over, the more they look like obstructionists whose agenda consists largely of trying to undo what Obama has done.

Chait explains why Republicans want so badly to run against Obamacare:

In gaming out the Party’s likely course, one factor that must be considered is the sheer burning desire to run against Obamacare as an end in and of itself rather than as a means to win votes. The law has crystalized right-wing resentment against the president, and as his largest domestic achievement, symbolizes the success or failure of the Obama presidency itself. The success of Obamacare would hand Democrats not only a generational policy triumph, but also nullify the Republicans’ campaign to brand him a failure.

One of the deepest regrets harbored, and often expressed, by conservatives is that the nomination of father-of-Obamacare Mitt Romney robbed them of their chance to run the kind of obsessive health-care campaign they have longed for since 2010. The midterms — the first election after the law has taken effect — give them their best chance to claim a kind of popular mandate against its implementation and breathe new life into the cause of repeal. They may have to choose between strategy and rage.