More Americans want Obamacare kept — or even expanded — than want it repealed


Despite the problem-plagued roll-out of Obamacare — and despite all the negative rhetoric about it from Republicans — the percentage of Americans who want the program retained or expanded is significantly greater than those who want it junked.

Greg Sargent has the numbers HERE:

The Kaiser Family Foundation is out with some important new polling that deserves a careful look from Dem Congressional officials — and political commentators.

The most important finding in the Kaiser poll — which is in some ways the gold standard of health care polling — is that significantly more Americans want the Affordable Care Act kept or expanded than want it repealed and replaced with a GOP alternative or with nothing at all. Here’s the key finding:

What would you like to see Congress do when it comes to the health care law?

Expand the law: 22

Keep the law as is: 25

Repeal the law and replace it with a Republican-sponsored alternative 13

Repeal the law and not replace it: 24

A total of 47 percent wants to keep or expand the law, versus 37 percent who want to replace it with a GOP health reform plan or scrap it completely. This poll was taken October 17-23, more than two weeks after the problem-plagued rollout began (though in fairness, before the “you can keep your plan” furor blew up).

How is it possible that more Americans want to stick with the law, when it’s obviously (as Republicans and some commentators say) such an epic disaster, both in policy and political terms alike?

The answer lies in the way the question was asked, and this has important larger implications. Kaiser’s line of questioning may be the best out there at shining light on what people really mean when they say they either support or oppose the law (a plurality of 44 percent view it unfavorably), and what they really mean when they say they want to get rid of it. If anything, the question is generous to Republicans, because it offers respondents the choice of an unspecified generic Republican alternative. Ultimately, what this finding suggests is that, whatever their dissatisfaction with Obamacare, people do not want to return to the previous system, and perhaps more crucially, do not believe Republicans are offering a serious alternative. Indeed, only 13 percent favor repeal and replace, GOP style.

This is a useful depiction of the current political and policy situation. It’s true Republicans have offered alternatives to Obamacare. But there is no Republican consensus position on health care reform. Republicans probably can’t pass their ideas through the House and certainly can’t pass anything that would ever become law. Among GOP voters, the Kaiser poll shows a split: Only 29 percent of Republicans want repeal and replace, versus 42 percent of Republicans who want to scrap the law and replace it with nothing.

In other words, the de facto GOP position is to go back to the old system.




  1. thehereandnow1

    Was this poll taken before or after more and more media outlets besides (the evil) FoxNews started pointing out that the president and dems lied to the American people?

  2. shawnnews

    The Republicans are going to be remembered for being the loons.

  3. thehereandnow1

    It took a while, but yes, libs are now blaming Republicans for this. Nice try shawn, but the truth is the Obama administration owns this disaster. They, and they alone are behind the screw up. They’ve lied to the American people, they wasted time and money on a web site that is crap at best, and now, like spoiled little children, they blame everyone else.

    In hindsight yes, the Republicans shouldn’t have been so pushy. All they needed to do was let this thing happen in order to prove how right they are. This thing is waaaayy off course in signing up the numbers they need, and the young people they were hoping on to help fund this by paying more aren’t falling for it. Obama is redefining the term ‘epic fail’.

    You know libs, as more and more people are losing the insurance they have, finding out that instead of paying less they are paying way more, they’re not gonna listen to you when you try to blame web designers, Republicans, the tooth fairy, whomever/whatever you make up.

    So, y’all gonna try running on Obamacare in next year’s elections?

  4. Don’t worry, they’ll fix it, they have brought in the best a brightest. These folks know the program inside and out. Note: build a crappy product, make donations and get hired to fix the crappy product left by the previous company.

    “A tech firm linked to a campaign-donor crony of President Obama not only got the job to help build the federal health-insurance Web site — but also is getting paid to fix it.
    Anthony Welters, a top campaign bundler for Obama and frequent White House guest, is the executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, which owns the software company now at the center of the ObamaCare Web-site fiasco.
    UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI), which built the data hub for the ObamaCare system, has been named the new general contractor in charge of repairing the glitch-plagued HealthCare.gov.
    Welters and his wife, Beatrice, have shoveled piles of cash into Obama’s campaign coffers and ­apparently reaped the rewards.
    Beatrice Welters bundled donations totaling between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama’s campaign during the 2008 election ­cycle, according to campaign- ­finance data compiled by Center for Responsive Politics.”

  5. Robert, did you hear it was Arlen Specter?
    Was it when he was a republican or democrat?
    I heard pigs can fly too.

    • Then maybe it was the first developers that had contributed to both parties. I do recall reading that scenario a week or so ago.

      I don’t blame Obama if he did hire someone who was on his team so to say to fix the problems. Some of the opposition seems to have every incentive to sabotage the ACA, just because it fits the republican agenda of destroying Obama’s presidency.

      If we can access the Iranian computer systems for their supposed nuclear bomb program and change key data so that the programs give bogus results, whose to say the same kind of bug planting couldn’t occur for the ACA website from a domestic source. It’s not conspiritorial to say one type of sabotage couldn’t also be employed elsewhere. The CIA and NSA have some very talented programmers and I’m sure they’re just as partisan as the rest of the country. Just saying…

  6. PS – one has to wonder how all the ACA websites from the federal website to the actual websites some of the states have created could all be F’d up. I wouldn’t rule out deliberate sabotage. It’s the only explanation that seems legitimate to explain how all the systems could be so dysfunctional. Devious people come in all party affiliations. Of course, that perspective will never catch on because even the democrats wouldn’t bring that possibility up, as real as it could be.

    Just to show how devious people can be by example, remember the rolling black outs in 2001 that Enron claimed was because of the extreme usage, when it was really being done deliberately and there are phone recordings proving it. I guess we can thank the NSA for that bit of proof.

  7. Robert, look out your window there are black helicopters flying overhead.

    • I gave specific examples of how things are sabotaged and this all you can respond with. And, no there are no black helicopters outside my window. What an ass.

  8. wilson, one more thing. When you make comments like that last one, it shows people who you are more than anything it could ever say about me.

  9. Robert, please provide definitive proof the the ACA was sabotaged.
    Thanks for the compliment, I do look good in my jeans.

    • I never said it was sabotaged. Just that its a possibility. Here’s some of my comment, “I wouldn’t rule out deliberate sabotage. It’s the only explanation that seems legitimate to explain how all the systems could be so dysfunctional. Devious people come in all party affiliations.”

      How can all the websites be so dysfunctional? I’d like to hear a response not from you, but from people in charge in a broad sense of the word, how all the systems basically failed. It just seems peculiar that all of them would have had problems, so much so that the program couldn’t really begin signing up people on time.

      I don’t think we’ll ever be told the truth, but it is possible through forensics to see if any kind of tampering was done. I doubt that would be pursued though.

      By the way, I didn’t say “what a great ass”. You made me laugh.

  10. Robert, my take on it is politics ruled and as a result incompetence.
    This was an enormous undertaking, the WEB front end is the least of the problems it is all the different database systems and the interfaces to those systems failing. It was sabotaged by politics and political cronies.
    “The failed gun registry was only one of CGI’s many Canadian failures, which included canceled contracts to build health care databases in the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick. Despite CGI’s checkered record, the Obama administration awarded its U.S. subsidiary, CGI Federal, the $93.7 million contract to build healthcare.gov, part of $678 million in health care services contracts awarded to the company.”
    Sounds like a company I’d give a no bid contract to, wouldn’t you?
    I am glad I made you laugh:-)

  11. Thanks for the other info to consider. I think you present a valid scenario.

    PS – this reCAPTCHA system is a nuisance. Sometimes I have to try 5+ times to get my post published. The lettering is too tiny and convoluted to read sometimes.

    • Robert, more to ponder
      “According to two former officials, CMS staff members struggled at “multiple meetings” during the spring of 2011 to persuade White House officials for permission to publish diagrams known as “concepts of operation,” which they believed were necessary to show states what a federal exchange would look like. The two officials said the White House was reluctant because the diagrams were complex, and they feared that the Republicans might reprise a tactic from the 1990s of then-Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), who mockingly brandished intricate charts created by a task force led by first lady Hillary Clinton.

      In the end, one of the former officials said, the White House quashed the diagrams, telling CMS, instead, to praise early work on those state exchanges that matched the hidden federal thinking.”


  12. I question how many people who post on this blog or read it for that matter, know how Obamacare/ACA works?

    With the exception of expdoc, I bet none have a clue. But many sure have an opinion about it.

  13. Robert, I wonder how many congressmen and women know how it works. Apparently the democrats had no clue in 2010.

    Friendly reminder from CNN: Senate Democrats killed a 2010 GOP proposal to let more people keep their plans
    ” In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.

    “The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time.

    “The administration’s own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House’s own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,” the Iowa Republican said.

    On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year.”

    • wilson, I’m one of those people whose current healthcare insurance plan is going away. I can elect to stay with same healthcare insurance provider under a similar plan but with expanded coverage for about a 150% increase in the monthly premium. I guess, you could say I can keep my current coverage but it will cost more.

      I’m very disappointed with the manner that the ACA was marketed. I think Sebelius is a big failure. With all the talent we have in this country to launch products successfully and with few glitches, was she the best person to be placed in the position she was? I think the sign of a good manager is to bring in people who are smarter than you. As a former governor, how much did she know about her new job to qualify her for the position? How many times did we see any official go on tour to explain how the program would work, even in the most simplest of term? I don’t recall any effort like that.

      I haven’t verified this yet, but I had no idea that major drug store chains were in place to act as brokers for getting people set up on the ACA. How many people know this? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/05/1253208/-I-bet-you-didn-t-know-this-Most-Americans-will-get-Obamacare-at-their-drugstore

      I think Sebelius needs to be replaced with someone friendly to the Obama administration that understands the healthcare insurance industry, the objectives of the ACA and knows how to market new products. In todays day and age with the internet being a way to connect people to new information immediately, there’s no reason so many people should be so uninformed about something as critical to their security as this is.

  14. What’s CMS stand for? I was reluctant to open that link just because it looked like a private blog.

  15. Robert,
    We have a Yugo marketed as a Rolls-Royce.
    The government counts on the masses to be miss-informed.
    The Republicans predicted all this in September 2010 and they were vilified, the Dem’s hand’t read the bill. Now Landrieu introduces bill to ‘Keep Promise’ of Obamacare if Americans liked their health care plans they could keep it under Obamacare. Where was she in 2010?
    Hey, the end justifies the means, if we give everyone insurance and folks die, get less coverage that costs more so what, that is the price you pay. Note From congress: I get to have great insurance subsidized at 75%, but I feel your pain.

    • The ACA is a market based program. What ACA did was make the insurance companies more accountable to the customers. People on the right screamed about death panels but the insurance companies denied coverage many times, thus acting as a death panel on their own.

      ACA makes sure people are afforded basic rights in coverages and no exclusion for existing conditions which excluded lots of people in the past. Those exclusions meant financial ruin and in some cases death. So who was acting as a death panel.

      I would have opted for a Medicare for all type answer to this market based solution. I think most people don’t realize the only role the govt has in the ACA is providing tax credits to those that qualify and ensuring the insurance companies provide basic services that were often times excluded in prior program options.

      For instance, I was only afforded 3 doctor visits per year that had a co-pay feature. After 3, I had to pay 100%. That’s history now and the maximum deductible a person has to pay has also changed.

      People somehow think that the ACA coverage goes through the govt like Medicare is paid, it doesn’t work that way.

      We can thank the right for there being so much confusion about the ACA. It’s not perfect and it should have rolled out with fewer issues than it has, but it’s not the demon the right are posing it as.

  16. I was reading about the introduction of Romneycare in MA and how that program had many similar problems in the first few months, as the roll out of Obamacare is experiencing.

    I fault Sebelius for not implementing this law in a better way than we are seeing. Especially since she had a model in place, Romneycare, to use as a guide for what worked and what didn’t.

    Most top management works under a “no surprises” type environment. I think Obama wasn’t kept up to date as he should have been. The Obama Administration is reluctant to blame any of their high level staff so it looks like the low hanging fruit will become the sacrificial goats. Once again, blame the little guy. Apparently nobody on top can do no wrong, its always the low levels that screw up.

    “Aides said the president did not believe that anyone had purposely deceived him or his top advisers, but they have concluded that some of the people working in the trenches on the website were not forthcoming about the problems.”

    Why he keeps Sebelius in her position is beyond me. Romneycare had similar problems with the website not being able to handle a flurry of inquiries in the first few days too. With that knowledge, they could have done a graduated roll out using the last names beginning with say, A-C to begin the application process. Then last names beginning with D through F, the following week and so on.

    This screw up is not going to bode well for the 2016 presidential elections. I bet Hillary is weighing how much of a chance she has to win because of this mess.

    PS – I don’t believe Obama deliberately, intentionally or willfully lied to the American people when he said you can keep your existing insurance if you want to. As I’ve stated, I’m one of the people whose current insurance program is going away, but I can continue on with my current provider under similar but better coverages as the ACA requires, but it will cost more. I can get better coverage under the state run, tax credit based Obamacare programs and for much less. I don’t believe Obama knew that private policies for individuals would rise as much as they did. Who would know that until the time came and products were assigned their new cost. My insurance company couldn’t tell me what my new premium would be until recently. So how would Obama have known way back then, when all those videos that are now haunting him were taped? I had a chance to listen to Rush Limbaugh recently. I blame that man for much of the divisions this country is experiencing. He’s nothing but a trouble maker. Even for the party he supposedly leads.


  17. Chris Cristi said on Meet The Press, that Obamacare is a failed policy. I only saw a snippit of the interview but I didn’t hear Cristi offer an alternative. The for profit healthcare system that Ronald Reagan brought us, is a failure. It rewards Wall Street investors for denying services to those in need or makes them so unaffordable that people do without and die or suffer needlessly. The annual increases in cost are out of control. If the republicans want to destroy Obamacare, offer an alternative and I don’t mean those healthcare accounts that are not insurance, they are nothing but tools to pay for deductibles and uncovered cost.

    Cristi, I like you and your in your face tell it like it is disposition, but if you do away with Obamacare and don’t offer something affordable and with decent benefits in your platform, you’re going to lose the presidential election in 2016. That is, unless I’m giving too much credit to the fools who benefit from Obamacare who will vote against their best interest, even though they will probably be on Obamacare by the time of the election.

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