A man holds a sign directing people to an insurance company where they can sign up for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare in Miami, Fla in 2015.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty

Support for Obamacare easily tops support for Republican tax cuts


The latest Fox News poll, released this week, asked respondents whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of “several individuals, groups, and items.” I won’t publish the full list, but consider a sampling:

Obamacare: 51% favorable, 44% unfavorable

Donald Trump 41% favorable, 57% unfavorable

The 2017 tax reform law: 40% favorable, 41% unfavorable

The Republican Party: 39% favorable, 56% unfavorable

After years of attacks, lawsuits, and sabotage efforts, we’re left with a political landscape in which the Affordable Care Act is more popular than the Republican Party, Republican tax breaks, and the Republican president (who, incidentally, continues to tell people that the ACA is “dead,” all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding).

Complicating matters for the right, the same poll found that Americans consider health care as the top issue influencing voters in this year’s midterm elections.

Wait, for Republicans, the news gets a little worse still.

The same Fox News poll asked, “In general, do you favor or oppose the U.S. moving to a national single-payer health plan, often called Medicare for All?” A 46% plurality said they favor such a system.

To be sure, the broader debate is complex, and even single-payer proponents often disagree on some of the specific details surrounding implementation of such a system. But for the right, the public is supposed to be repulsed by the very idea of Medicare for All.

The evidence suggests Americans, at least on the surface, actually rather like it.

Finally, the Fox News poll asked, “Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have affordable health care, or is that not the responsibility of the government?”

By a two-to-one margin – 63% to 30% – respondents said the government should be responsible for guaranteeing health care access to all.

Public attitudes on the subject wax and wane, but at least for now, it appears Republicans have failed quite spectacularly to persuade Americans on their conservative health care vision.