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Over the past month, a number of far-right GOP lawmakers have advocated for shutting down the federal government in order to defund Obamacare — but those efforts are deeply unpopular with Republican voters. Just seven percent of Republicans want Congress to take steps to delay or defund the health reform law, according to a new poll from the Morning Consult group.
Altogether, the Morning Consult poll found that just six percent of registered voters favor delaying or defunding Obamacare. By far, it’s the least popular strategy for moving forward with the health reform law. Most people said they wanted to find a way to make the health law work. Thirty-one percent of respondents said that Congress should “make changes to improve the law,” 22 percent said Congress should let the law take effect, and 11 percent wanted Congress to expand the healthcare law further. Thirty percent wanted Obamacare to be repealed altogether.
The findings track with a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that even when Americans have negative reactions to Obamacare, they still don’t want to defund it.
Mainstream Republican lawmakers are similarly resistant to recent efforts to defund Obamacare. During the August recess, after several GOP lawmakers were confronted by angry constituents at town halls who demanded to know why they wanted to get rid of the health law’s consumer protections, many Republicans began to soften their rhetoric about forcing a government shutdown specifically to target the law. One GOP senator said defunding Obamacare in this way was the “dumbest idea” he’d ever heard. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently acknowledged that these efforts to block Obamacare’s implementation likely won’t work.
Republicans typically tout the myth that Obamacare is deeply unpopular and the American public wants to get rid of it entirely. In fact, that’s not exactly the whole story. Although Americans do tend to say that they don’t like the health reform law as a whole, they do support its specific provisions without even realizing they’re part of Obamacare. Thanks to consistent misinformation campaigns about the health law, “Obamacare” has simply become a politically-charged buzzword, and Americans don’t realize how the law’s benefits are connected to the law itself.