A new poll from the National Journal finds that the majority of Americans don’t want to repeal Obamacare. In fact, they want to give the law time to work.
The Journal’s survey finds that, given the option to “wait and see” how the law takes effect in addition to options for repealing it or expanding it, a mere 36 percent of adults said that Obamacare should be repealed. An additional 30 percent chose the “wait and see” approach, and 27 percent said that the law should actually get more funding. When told that repealing the law increases the federal budget deficit, support for preserving the law increases to 48 percent, while 42 percent still prefer repeal. Respondents were not given the option to “wait and see” on that question, meaning repeal support may actually be lower.
Those numbers track with other polls that present respondents with more than just two options on what to do with the law. A CNN poll from May found that 54 percent of Americans oppose the health care law — but 16 percent of those Americans oppose it because it isn’t expansive enough.
Minorities also continue to support Obamacare at a higher rate than white Americans do, with 60 percent saying the law should be kept intact. Nonwhites were also the only surveyed demographic more likely to take the Obama administration’s delay of the employer mandate as a sign the White House is trying to implement the law in a responsible manner, rather than an indication that officials are unprepared and will encounter more problems as the law goes into effect. While 58 percent of whites perceived the delay as a sign of trouble, 53 percent of nonwhites looked at is as one of prudence.
That underscores the tension between Republicans’ ongoing efforts to undermine the health care law and their desire to attract minority — and particularly Latino — voters. Recent national polls have found two-to-one support for Obamacare among Latinos, making them some of the Affordable Care Act’s strongest proponents.
While the survey did find that a majority of Americans are skeptical about how smoothly the law can be implemented, those numbers are likely bolstered by the continuing GOP campaign to discredit, undermine, and fear monger about Obamacare. Reform opponents have spent five times the money on negative ad campaigns criticizing the law as supporters have spent promoting it.
Another factor that may feed into Americans’ cynicism is the media’s tendency to highlight manufactured “scandals” and Republican obstruction efforts over numerous reports of the ACA’s tangible benefits.
That politicized and misleading media narrative is likely the reason that states promoting enrollment into their Obamacare insurance marketplaces tend not to mention the words “Obamacare” or “health care reform,” instead focusing on giving consumers simple facts about upcoming insurance coverage options in 2014.