Just days after Republicans released their third “bill” to repeal the health care law, a new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll finds that “given the option to name the sections of the healthcare law they would most like to see the GOP repeal, 42 percent [of Americans] said they would leave the bill alone and repeal no parts”:
Polling for the new health care law doesn’t show the kind of “bump” Democrats had expected, but the numbers are slowly improving. For instance, according to a May 2010 Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 55% of Americans said health reform should have a chance to work, versus 42% who said repeal and start over. Just 17% thought the health reform bill “would make things better, 36% said health care would get worse and 37% said it would stay the same.” “In April 2009, those numbers were 22 percent, 24 percent and 29 percent respectively.”
That same poll found that “when asked if they would be more likely to vote for a congressional candidate willing to give the law a chance to work and make changes as needed, or one who would repeal it entirely and start over, respondents picked the one who would give it a chance by 55–42.” Political independents also favored “giving the law a chance 57–40 in the poll.”
Still, the unpopularity of the individual mandate means that Democrats aren’t out of the woods just yet. Outside of the all-or-nothing repeal purists, Republicans in the states and in Congress believe that repealing the popular parts of reform is a non-starter but ending the individual mandate would effectively unwind the entire health care law. Democrats will argue that the move would dramatically increase premiums, but they will have to hold their coalition together against Republican efforts to undermine the policy and the strange left-right wing activists who also oppose the mandate.