New Texas ruling is the latest example of Republican efforts to kill Obamacare. But while the GOP is winning on tactics, it’s losing hearts and minds.
What is the strongest political force driving America toward national health care? No, it’s not Sen. Bernie Sanders and his “Democratic Socialist” minions. It’s the Republican Party.
Hang on, don’t Republicans stand foursquare against a government takeover of the entire U.S. health care system? So they say. But the GOP’s pig-headed opposition to less drastic ways to make sure everyone has coverage is stimulating Americans’ appetite for a bigger government role in health care — and it will only be fueled by a federal judge’s ruling Friday night that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
In a recent poll commissioned by the Progressive Policy Institute, for example, voters by a margin of 54 to 46 percent, including nearly half of Republicans, favored changing “the current health system so everyone gets health care through Medicare instead of through people’s place of work or instead of buying it directly.” A more general “new government health care program” drew even more support, including 52 percent of Republicans.
Such findings should be taken seriously, but not literally. When you present voters with facts about the astronomical cost of nationalizing health care — $32 trillion over 10 years — and tell them they’d have to give up their job-based health plans, their enthusiasm for a Medicare-for-all “single payer” scheme starts to melt away.
Still, the public’s receptivity to more government intervention in health care markets shows that U.S. conservatives are losing ground on health care. And Republicans, the drivers behind the lawsuit in Texas, have only themselves to blame.