Just over a month ago, in a fit of assertive smugness of the sort to which politicians fally prey an awful lot, President Obama insisted, "The point is the repeal debate is and should be over. The Affordable Care Act is working." Never mind the horror stories about lost coverage, rising costs, glitchy exchanges, and limited access to actual lealth care, "it's well past time to move on as a country and refocus our energy on the issues that the American people are most concerned about."
You can bet President Obama wants to put discussion of his Frankenstein monster of a health law in the rear-view mirror; opinions of Obamacare aren't flattering, and they aren't helping his party's political prospects. But the American people aren't going along with the program.
In fact 60 percent of Americans say the debate over Obamacare should not be over, according to a new Politico Poll. And which way do they lean on the law? Among those polled, 48 percent want the law repealed outright, 35 percent want it changed, and only 16 percent want the president's signature health plan maintained as is. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said the health care law will be important in determining their congressional votes in November.
Not surprisingly, the poll picked up a Republican advantage in voter sentiment going into November's congressional elections.
The Politico Poll also picked up slight opposition to same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, and support for immigration reform and "stricter background checks for gun purchases," if you're trying to read the ideological tea leaves.
Respondents also favored divided government, with one party controlling the White House, and the other Congress. Some economists say this approach is the best bet for achieving less-expensive government, as the parties squabble without running up the bills.
Those bills can cen be incurred by controversial measures, such as those jamming a poorly constructed health system down everybody's throats.