ObamaCare repeal vote
The Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare begins in earnest today. House leadership aides tell me that only a handful of Democrats are likely to vote for H.R. 2, the bill to repeal ObamaCare. Some optimists are putting the number of Democratic defectors between five and ten. But the wind does appear to be at the Republicans' backs.
In a statement Tuesday night, President Obama said:
So I'm willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act. But we can't go backward. Americans deserve the freedom and security of knowing that insurance companies can't deny, cap or drop their coverage when they need it the most, while taking meaningful steps to curb runaway healthcare costs."
Now, why would he be offering to "fix" his "historic legislation"? A GOP House leadership advisor says: "I think it is a bow to the reality of the unpopularity of the law, without actually proposing any real or substantive fixes." Other senior House Republican advisors were even more emphatic, saying the bill is fundamentally flawed and isn't fixable.
A Quinnipiac poll finds the public more supportive than not about outright repeal:
The key to the public support for repealing the new health care law is among independent voters who want it taken off the books 54 - 37 percent. Republicans agree 83 - 12 percent, while Democrats support the health care reform 76 - 16 percent. Men want it repealed 53 - 40 percent, while women are split with 46 percent in favor of health care reform and 44 percent for repeal. White voters support repeal 56 - 37 percent, while black voters say let the law stand 75 - 15 percent and Hispanics want to keep the law 51 - 28 percent.
"The Republicans pushing repeal of the health care law have more American people on their side. They may not have the votes in the Senate, but they have many on Main Street," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "While President Obama's poll rating has improved in recent weeks, the coalition against his health care plan remains and is quite similar to the one that existed when his numbers were at their nadir."
Looking at adult voters, CNN's survey shows that 50 percent favor repeal and 42 percent oppose it.
When we look at likely voters, rather than all Americans, the numbers are even more troubling for ObamaCare supporters. Rasmussen reports that 55 percent of likely voters favor repeal, while 40 percent oppose repeal.
When Democrats rammed through ObamaCare on party-line votes, they assured themselves that the public would learn to love it and, in any case, that they were making history. But in a democracy, the governing class can't survive by pushing policies that the majority dislikes. Hence, we had the November 2010 wipeout. Will Democrats who defy popular opinion (especially in red states) face a similar comeuppance in 2012? Stay tuned, but, this time around, the White House and congressional Democrats are plainly nervous.
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