Are The Tea Party Inspired Campaigns To Nullify Health Reform Running Out Of Steam?

Politico’s Sarah Kliff points out that conservative efforts to repeal health care reform through lawsuit or state referendum — you can see who’s doing what here — are running into roadblocks, as voters are quickly turning against the idea. “By a slight majority, likely voters tend to oppose the health care reform law. But they also tend to oppose the repeal lawsuits as a ‘bad idea’ that would, for a sizeable portion of voters, make them ‘less likely’ to support a given candidate. In short, voters simultaneously don’t want to health care reform but don’t want to challenge it either,” Kliff notes:

The findings are particularly pertinent in Florida, where the Republican candidate for governor, state attorney general Bill McCollum, has been a leader in repeal movement. McCollum lead a coalition of 12 states in filing health care reform repeal lawsuits the day after the bill passed in the House.

The Quinnipiac poll found that the majority of Florida voters (54 percent) say it’s a “bad idea” for McCollum to file a lawsuit challenging health care reform; 38 percent say it makes them less likely to support his gubernatorial bid. Among independents the lawsuit is particularly disliked: 41 percent oppose the lawsuit challenge, while 27 percent support it.

Florida voters generally disapprove of health care reform, by about 48 to 44 percent but trying to stop it in court “is probably not going to help McCollum at this point,” says Brown.

Indeed earlier this week, Bryant Furlow reported that residents in New Mexico are actually discouraging their attorney general from joining the constitutional lawsuit challenging reform. “So far there are more than 750 comments,” AG Spokesman Phil Sisneros said. “Early on, most were clearly for joining the other states’ lawsuit but in the last few days many are urging the AG not to join.” Meanwhile, the efforts of states to pass legislation nullification the law may also be waning. As the Progressive States Network details, of the 40 something states that have introduced nullification legislation, 22 have failed to pass their bills and only 3 have succeeded. Look:

So not surprisingly, taking stuff away from people isn’t very popular. But the failure of these frivolous measures doesn’t mean that Republicans won’t keep on trying or that the public will embrace health care reform. The success of the law will likely depend on the effectiveness of implementation and the very fact that states are resisting the reform and using its unpopularity as a campaign wedge issue, suggests that the road to 2014 and beyond will be a bumpy one.

Americans are still not convinced that the health care law will lower costs — Gallup just found that individuals are no less concerned about paying the costs of a serious illness or accident, or normal healthcare costs, than they were last year — and state and federal regulators will have to work very hard to prove them wrong.