Ed Kilgore: In more “no game change” news, Ron Brownstein reports today that a new and very detailed United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows little change in basic attitudes towards Obamacare since the last survey of its kind in July:Backing up this poll is a Reuters/Ipsos poll showing that support for Obamacare overall has dropped by a statistically insignificant 3 points since the last time they polled the issue. The Affordable Care Act still isn’t popular, but the appetite for sweeping changes just isn’t there.
Amid all the tumult over the law’s troubled implementation, the survey found that public opinion about it largely follows familiar political tracks and has changed remarkably little since the summer on the critical question of what Congress should do next. On that measure, support for repeal has not significantly increased among any major group except Republicans and working-class whites since the Congressional Connection Poll last tested opinion on the question in July.At present, asked if Congress should repeal Obamacare, leave it alone for now, or provide more funds to help its implementation, repeal is opposed by a 59-38 margin, with, as Brownstein noted, repeal sentiment being mainly confined to Republican and Republican-leaning parts of the electorate. That means two things: Republicans will continue to be encouraged by their “base” to screw up the Affordable Care Act, and Democrats will have little real political incentive to cave.
Republicans have vowed to try to repeal the law, but the poll showed they could face some obstacles because some elements of the law, such as requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, remain popular.So a tweak here or there, but otherwise they’re cool. What these steady numbers show is that opinions of the issue are pretty much fixed along partisan lines. As with the National Journal poll, there’s no opening here for Republicans to gain ground and no reason for Democrats to give any up.
Asked their views on the troubled Obamacare launch, 65 percent favored at least some changes in the health law. But some respondents favored only smaller changes such as delays in the deadline for requiring everyone without health insurance to sign up for coverage.
Repeal gets deader by the day.
[photo by LaDawna Howard]