As President Obama continues his August push on the Affordable Care Act, Politico has an interesting look at the ACA compared to the passage of Medicare in 1965. There are a lot of similarities as the GOP fought hard against both:
President Barack Obama says he’s not worried that all the Obamacare fights will kill the law — because people fought the creation of Medicare and Social Security too, and now they’re more popular than ever.
Democrats have always wanted to believe Obamacare would follow the same pattern: Opponents tried to block passage of the new programs, but once they became law, the public saw the benefits and the opposition faded away.
But this time there’s a difference. Political opposition to Obamacare is still as strong as ever, more than three years after it was signed into law.
That means the administration’s task in launching the health care law — the biggest new social program since the creation of Medicare in 1965 — is harder than anything its predecessors had to face.
One problem with this analysis is that opposition isn’t as strong as ever. In fact, a GOP poll designed to give support to Republicans continuing to push for ACA repeal found the American people actually don’t support repeal:
“Americans — including 57 percent of independents in ten critical congressional districts — favor defunding Obamacare,” said Michael Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action. “House Republicans should be much more concerned with the fallout of failing to defund Obamacare than with the imaginary fallout of doing so.”
What Needham fails to mention, however, is that even this push poll that dramatically oversamples Republicans (more on that in a minute) finds respondents are more likely to say that the Affordable Care Act should be kept than scrapped — and that a plurality would blame Republicans if the government were to shut down.
Only 44.5 percent “oppose the health care law and think it should be repealed,” while 52 percent either support the law as is or have some concerns, but say they think implementation should move forward. And asked whom they would blame if “there was an impasse between president Obama and Congress on whether to continue to fund the health care law, and that impasse resulted in a partial government shutdown,” the top response (28 percent) was Republicans in Congress. The next option, Obama, got 21 percent of respondents.”
Seniors in Medicare have a lot at stake in this debate. Thanks to Obamacare, seniors will see an average savings of about $4,200 in their prescription drug costs over the next decade and the Part D coverage gap known as the “donut hole” will be closed. Seniors also receive free preventative visits and health screenings plus the Medicare trust fund has gained a decade of solvency.
These are real-life tangible benefits for millions of seniors they simply don’t want to lose. It’s no wonder the House GOP is feeling the wind dying down in their Obamacare propaganda campaign.