A new McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll released earlier this week only reiterates the argument that the mid-term elections were not a mandate to repeal health care reform — most Americans want to keep or expand expand the Affordable Care Act:
The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.
Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2–1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don’t like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.
This is fairly significant because Republicans keep insisting that they will listen to the American people and act accordingly. I’m not aware of any major poll that shows a majority of Americans want to repeal the law after learning about its specific benefits and consumer protections. And since any real effort to rescind reform will require Republicans to get very specific about what they’re eliminating, it provides Democrats with another opportunity to tout the benefits of the measure. If anything, public support should only increase.
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) is now pursuing a version of that messaging strategy by tempting Republicans to sign-on to a series of bills repealing only the most popular provisions of Affordable Care Act. This is pure legislative gimmickry but it is also another creative way to expose the ridiculousness of repeal and build on the existing public support for maintaining reform.