As lawmakers attempt to pass a funding bill to keep the government operating past Monday, House Republicans won’t agree to avert a shutdown unless Obamacare is delayed for one year. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has been pushing this anti-Obamacare strategy for weeks, claims this represents a “compromise.”
But the American public doesn’t necessarily agree. Even as the deadline for passing a continuing resolution draws near, the vast majority of Americans still don’t want Congress to delay or defund the health reform law, according to the results from a new tracking poll.
The Morning Consult group finds that just seven percent of voters support delaying or defunding Obamacare. On the other hand, 39 percent of voters want Congress to either let the law take effect or expand the law even further. Another 29 percent think that Congress should work on making improvements to Obamacare, but ultimately leave the law in place. By a two to one margin, the poll’s respondents said “the results from the 2012 presidential election represented a referendum on moving forward with the Affordable Care Act.”
In a memo regarding the new results, the Morning Consult group notes that voters have ultimately been “unmoved by three months of the defund argument.”
Morning Consult’s results track with earlier research that has found that most Americans want to give the health reform law an opportunity to work. A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA Today found that even when Americans don’t support Obamacare, they still want lawmakers to try to make it work rather than try to undermine it. And Morning Consult’s last tracking poll found that even Republicans don’t favor defunding the health law.
And if the government does end up being forced to shut down because of Republican brinkmanship over Obamacare, the majority of voters say they’ll put “a lot” of the blame on GOP lawmakers in Congress. According to the new poll, nearly eight in 10 independent voters say they’ll blame congressional Republicans for a shutdown.
In an analysis of the new polling results, conservative health policy columnist Avik Roy acknowledges that Americans “don’t view the law in the apocalyptic terms that many conservatives do.” Even though Cruz — who recently conducted a fake filibuster to speak out against Obamacare for over 20 hours — claims that “the American people overwhelmingly reject Obamacare,” Roy notes that doesn’t mean the public actually supports shutting down the government in order to get rid of it.