The Politics of Healthcare Reform

So how’s healthcare reform doing among the unwashed masses? According to a new Kaiser poll:

  • 48% have a favorable view of the law.
  • 41% have an unfavorable view.
  • Of that 41%, only 27% want the law repealed. (The remainder think it ought to be given a chance for a while.)

That doesn’t bode well for conservatives who think that wholesale repeal is the road to electoral victory in November — though admittedly that 27% number might be higher in certain specific right-leaning swing districts where Democrats are most vulnerable. Still, as Jon Cohn points out, overall approval of healthcare reform, as measured by Pollster’s poll averaging, is slowly but steadily increasing. It’s gone up from 40% to 44% since February and has now crossed the critical point where it’s viewed as a net favorable. If it keeps trending this way for the rest of the year, it’ll be at around 49% approval by November.

The overall politics of repeal still differs dramatically in different congressional districts, of course, but numbers like this make it virtually impossible for the Republican leadership in Congress to seriously push for total repeal as a partywide platform. Like it or not, healthcare reform is here to stay.

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