Yesterday, I speculated that support for repeal will diminish as benefits like the new preventive care guidelines are rolled out and people actually realize what’s in this bill and now the Huffington Posts’ Sam Stein reports that this already seems to be happening:
A Bloomberg News poll released on Wednesday shows that a full 61 percent of respondents don’t have interest in repealing the health care legislation that Congress passed earlier this year (47 percent want to see how it works, 14 percent say it should be left alone). Just 37 percent want the bill repealed (as is the wish of the Republican leadership).
The numbers underscore increasing public approval of the health care reform law. It also illustrates the potential dangers the Republican caucus assumes by make the repeal agenda a major plank of its campaign platform.
I think these results generally mirror what we’ve been seeing in other focus groups around the country. People may not understand what exactly is in the bill but they’re also confused by the GOP’s knee-jerk repeal it now campaign. As the early benefits are being rolled out, taking away dependent coverage and high risk pool insurance will become politically unpopular positions and Republicans need to be asked if they support repealing those benefits. Already, polls have shown that this will be a tough question to answer as an increasing number of Americans are coming out in favor of the health law (even Rasmussen agrees).
The GOP leadership has thrown its weight behind two discharge petitions offered by Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Wally Herger (R-CA) as recently as last month. The petitions will need to attract 218 members to force the House to take up repeal legislation that would eliminate the entirety of the health law. As of Thursday, 133 members have signed on to King’s petition and Herger’s repeal and replace bill has 42 co-sponsors.