Political Animal


February 27, 2012 10:28 AM 120% of Republicans Favor Repeal of ObamaCare!

By Ed Kilgore

There’s a new Gallup survey out on the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that helps illustrate why the exact numbers on issues that divide partisans are a bit irrelevant. Here’s Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones:

Americans divide evenly when asked if they favor (47%) or oppose (44%) a Republican president’s repealing the 2010 healthcare law if elected this November. Republicans overwhelmingly favor repeal (87%) and Democrats overwhelmingly oppose it (77%). However, Republicans hold their views much more intensely than Democrats, with 56% of Republicans strongly favoring repeal and 39% of Democrats strongly opposing it.

Since every single Republican in Congress voted against the legislation, and the GOP presidential candidates have differed only in terms of the vehemence with which they denounce it as a socialist threat to fundamental American freedoms (and/or as quasi-genocidal), it’s a bit beside the point to figure out exactly what percentage of GOP voters favor repeal. It’s not as though there is some “sensible center” among Republican office-holders that “the base” must discipline in order to keep them from tolerating this approach to health reform once supported by quite a lot of GOP leaders and thinkers.

It is germane that self-identified independents oppose repeal by a 47-40 margin. And in the event Republicans do win the White House and/or control of both Houses of Congress, it may well become important to determine whether voters really do support a return to the status quo ante, including the right of insurers to deny coverage to people on grounds of pre-existing conditions (not a popular position among any category of voters in the past). But like a lot of other measurements of “intensity,” the exact percentage of Republican voters favoring their party’s monolithic position on “ObamaCare” isn’t quite the big deal it is often made out to be, unless the question is whether the statute will be publicly burned after it is repealed.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Rich on February 27, 2012 11:09 AM:

    Most people have no idea what's in Obamacare. The administration has failed miserably in informing the public and the media has been even worse. Any gains by the GOP in Congress 9or even a status quo) may have the unintended consequence of actually drawing attention to what's in the program.

  • Danp on February 27, 2012 11:12 AM:

    Most people who want to repeal the ACA think of it as nothing more than a mandate to buy health insurance, while making it more expensive and less likely that employers will offer it. Polls like this reinforce that belief.

  • T2 on February 27, 2012 12:44 PM:

    Basic Healthcare for all of us. Odd, isn't it, that the Republicans think that is such a bad idea.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on February 27, 2012 12:46 PM:

    Mr. Ed!

    If you were honest, you would acknowledge that 150% of all amerikans want a full and complete repeal of ObamaCare; they just want to keep the provisions of it!

  • Skip on February 27, 2012 1:41 PM:

    I look forward to the future days of SantorumCare, where every citizen outside a certain religious or economic bracket will be required to submit 9 page applications* with credit and background checks, and full exams at our own expense, just to get health insurance. Once approved, regardless of amount of coverage granted, all citizens will be required to pay a fair flat-rate premium, soon to be known as flat rate tithes to God's Anointed Insurance Companies, none of which will cover any procedure or medication that violates their religious code, especially the expensive ones.

    *Small print at the bottom of application says no Democrats can apply under the new Santorum/West Cleaning Up America Law.

  • Ron on February 28, 2012 4:22 PM:

    Anybody with any business sense whatsoever, and with the ability to do a little research, can see that that PPACA is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

    Individuals and businesses will be forced to change plans to comply with the new standards for insurance. Annual family premium costs are up over $2,500 since 2009.

    Flexible Spending Account contributions have been cut by 50%.

    Health Savings Accounts face elimination

    More than 7 million seniors with Medicare Advantage Plans will likely be forced back into traditional Medicare.

    23,000,000 will still be uninsured in 2019
    A major failure in controlling health care costs

    More than $569 billion in new or increased taxes.

    Almost 12,000 IRS agents will be needed to help enforce compliance.

    People who don't want to buy coverage will be fined.

    Rejects consumer-oriented reforms in favor of a “command and control,” government imposed solution.

    This is just the tip of iceberg. Thankfully, the "CLASS Act" was repealed along with the ludicrous measure to require all businesses to report all business transactions in excess of $600.00. This piece of legislation is a job killer.

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act falls far short of all expectations. It would be much cheaper to move the "uncovered" into a Medicaid plan.