Since Republicans attempted to pass healthcare reform legislation this past spring, Americans’ support for Obamacare has dropped from 53 percent a year ago to 50 percent today, according to Gallup. Support for the law has continuously dipped since Republicans began discussing “repeal and replace,” with a record high of 55 percent approval in April sliding to 53 percent in July before the defection drama unfolded within the Republican party.
Moreover, after Obamacare reform failed, a monthly Kaiser Family Foundation poll in September found that just 46% had a favorable view of the law – down from 52% in August. In fact, Obamacare’s unfavorability rating rose from 39% in August to 44% in September. Kaiser also found that 63% of the public supports giving “states more flexibility to make changes to their health insurance programs,” which was the basis of the last Republican plan.
It’s possible that this new Gallup poll is showing the optimism for tax reform passing before the new year, leading many Americans to believe that a second stab at tackling healthcare could be equally as successful. Republicans have been much more confident and unified on the issue of taxes, and if they apply this same vigor to repealing Obamacare, the public may feel more secure with letting Republicans dismantle the law.
The Senate agreeing to a repeal of the individual mandate, the most unpopular part of Obamacare, is a great step in the right direction. The tax on the uninsured has actually grown in unpopularity since reform efforts began, with 65 percent of GOP respondents now telling Politico that they disapprove of it, up from 51 percent in September.
Furthermore, with household debt at an all-time high, high taxes, in general, are currently quite unpopular. When Americans were asked by Kaiser if they would support the Democrats’ universal health care plan, support collapsed when told that it would require more taxes and government control and less choice. An astounding 66% oppose such measures.
With such disdain towards high taxes among American households today, Republicans have a greater chance at healthcare reform when they expose the expense of Obamacare and emphasize the importance of choice. Making sure that Americans know they would be putting more money in their pockets is key to healthcare reform victory in 2018.