One set of numbers about health care reform from the Reason-Rupe Millennials poll really stood out to me.
It found voters 18-29 overwhelmingly believe the government has the responsibility to guarantee every citizen has health insurance. The poll found 69 percent share this opinion, but only 51 percent have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act. That is a massive 18 point gap.
A huge number of young people who were naturally inclined towards supporting the law to expand insurance coverage were turned off because of the specifics of the ACA. While it probably wasn’t possible to write a bill that would have made everyone in the 69 percent happy, Democrats did a terrible job winning over people who were already inclined to back their stated goals.
A very big part of the ACA’s continuing poor polling numbers is not some ideological opposition to government getting people insurance. It is deep seated disappointed that the law is needlessly complex, extremely wasteful, and has resulted in higher costs for some of these young people who supported Obama’s run. It was not what was promised.
Democrats need to realize that refuting some of the GOP’s more ridiculous claims is not going to magically make the law more popular. They need to address that it is simply a poorly designed program and people see that.
This also why we will probably never see an official Republican “replacement.” Most people don’t share the Republican party’s opposition to the idea of universal coverage, they just want it done in a less corrupt and stupid manner. An official Republican alternative would only highlight this very unpopular Republican stance and draw attention away from the ACA’s flaws.
Photo by SEIU International under Creative Commons License