One of the major rallying cries of the Republican Party and the wider conservative movement has been to repeal the recently passed health care law. To justify this demand, these conservatives claim that Americans want the law to be repealed and that they think it goes too far in expanding the government and would prefer a free market approach to health care (which has no history of working anywhere at anytime).
Last week, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe made this claim in on op-ed published on FoxNews.com. He said that repealing the health care law “is achievable because the American people clearly want and expect repeal.” Earlier this week, CNN/Opinion Research released a new poll that, at first glance, seemed to support Kibbe’s thesis. The poll found that Americans opposed the new law 50 to 43 percent (with 7 percent undecided). Yet as U.S. News & World Report’s Robert Schlesinger finds, the details of the poll results show that most Americans either support the law or oppose it because it is “not liberal enough“:
Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?”
Oppose, too liberal 37%
Oppose, not liberal enough 13%
No opinion 7%
These poll results clearly fly in the face of conservative dogma that Americans fear big government and want to roll back the health care law because it involves too much government intrusion into the lives of the public. In fact, polling has consistently shown that wide majorities of Americans favor access to a public plan like Medicare at the very least, if not a Medicare-for-all health insurance system. Additionally, 77 percent of Americans support drug reimportation from Canada, a policy which did not find its way into the health care law thanks to political pressure exerted by the drug industry.
While it is clear that the recently passed law has its flaws, Americans want to see it made more progressive, not less. And conservatives will find little eagerness among the American people to repeal health care coverage for tens of millions of people and once again legalize abusive insurance company practices like denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.