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Manhattan Institute

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Republicans Managed to Make Obamacare Popular

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Republicans Managed to Make Obamacare Popular

The Wall Street Journal April 10, 2019
Health PolicyAffordable Care Act

Before President Trump took office, only 43% of voters approved of the law. That’s up to 50% now.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released in December 2016, just before President Obama left office, showed that the Affordable Care Act had a favorability rating of 43%, while 46% viewed it unfavorably. Last month, the same poll showed the nine-year-old health-insurance law well above water, with 50% viewing it positively to 39% negatively.

Those numbers help explain why most Republicans in Congress aren’t eager to campaign on repealing ObamaCare in 2020. Republican candidates ran hard on “repeal and replace” in 2016, and voters rewarded them with the presidency and GOP majorities in both chambers of Congress. The party’s infighting and epic failure to deliver on that campaign promise is one reason Nancy Pelosi is once again speaker of the House.

Some aspects of ObamaCare—protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions, coverage for young adults through their parents’ insurance plans—enjoy bipartisan support among voters, and many Republican lawmakers are content to focus for the time being on tweaking the law rather than repealing it. Alas, President Trump has other ideas. Republicans today are no closer to agreeing on an ObamaCare alternative than they were when Mr. Trump was elected, yet he wants to dust off the “repeal and replace” slogan for 2020.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal

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Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator. Follow him on Twitter here.

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