Government Watch

Moderate Democrats are Quitting on Obamacare

By Scott Clement –

The landmark health-reform law passed in 2010 has never been very popular and always highly partisan, but a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against Obamacare: Democrats who are ideologically moderate  or conservative.

Just after the law was passed in 2010, fully 74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported the federal law making changes to the health-care system. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll, down 11 points in the past year. Liberal Democrats, by contrast, have continued to support the law at very high levels – 78 percent in the latest survey. Among the public at large, 42 percent support and 49 percent oppose the law, retreating from an even split at 47 percent apiece last July.


The shift among the Democratic party’s large swath in the ideological middle– most Democrats in this poll, 57 percent, identify as moderate or conservative – is driving an overall drop in party support for the legislation: Just 58 percent of Democrats now support the law, down from 68 percent last year and the lowest since the law was enacted in 2010. This broader drop mirrors tracking surveys by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation and Fox News polls, both of which found Democratic support falling earlier this year.

Politically, the downward shift among moderate and conservative Democrats may be inconsequential. Senate Democrats have ignored more than three dozen House Republicans efforts to repeal the law, and even if they lost control of the chamber in the 2014 midterm elections Obama would surely veto any attempt to undo his signature legislative achievement.

But persistent skepticism of Obamacare continues to pose an obstacle to getting key parts of the law off the ground. The Obama administration is planning to exert enormous education efforts in the next 12 months to persuade uninsured Americans to sign up for new health insurance exchanges, and it’s unclear how much political opposition will discourage people from participating.

On the other hand, launching health insurance exchanges for those who are uninsured offers an opportunity for the Obama administration to win over detractors through action rather than political argument, which has not been very effective. It may be the last best chance for Obama to win support for a law that has been stubbornly unpopular from the start.


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Robert McElhinney
8 years ago

Tell your Senators tell your REPs tell your tell all your state fed and anyone you talk to do the same . Let us kill this monster before it kills us . A vet still fighting for his country.

8 years ago

We can cry out all we want here in this forum but the most good will be done when the mail boxes of our elected officials are flooded. Let THEM know how you feel about the way they are carring on our business in Washington.
The Obamacare, sequestration,TAXES, jobs and a host of other issues needs to be removed and remade or done away with completly.

8 years ago

Republicans still have a majority in the HOR. Instead of their useless votes against Obamicare, they could whenever they mean business vote to defund it. Heck, they couldn’t even vote to defund NSA spying on US citizens, even with a substantial number of dems voting to do so. They’re still tryig to find excuses to support the invasion of the US. A lot of dems are in precarious situations with voters and would have to vote to defund Obamacare.

The “conservatives” ARE NOT on our side. They take turns voting against our issues, figuring out how much they can get away with and still be elected.

I hope they get the message. Constitutional conservatives are not going to vote for them if they don’t stop their silly games and instead vote to defund all of Obama’s wacky-unconstitutional programs. If the country’s headed for the trash heap of failed civilizations, it might as well be sooner rather than later, while there are still people around who remember what freedom is.

8 years ago
Reply to  MaryAnn

Memories of freedom may be all we have left after another few years.

Ralph B.
8 years ago

Ever increasing public outcry as well as so many politicians slowly turning against Obamacare , so what is it gonna really take to get this huge nightmare repealed ?

8 years ago
Reply to  Ralph B.

First you need veto proof conservative Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. Secondly, the will of the leaders of both houses of Congress to actually push for the actual repeal of Obamacare, as well as roll-back all the rules, regulations and taxes associated with Obamacare that have already been put in motion. The first one is a stretch, but potentially achievable, although it may already be too late. Last year’s election was really the last viable window to stop Obamacare cleanly in its tracks and do a full repeal before too many changes had been forced into the health care system. Since then, HHS has been spitting out new rules and regulations to doctors, hospitals, medical device makers, and insurance companies at a frantic pace to transform the medical economy. You may have already noticed changes being forced on your doctor during routine visits.

The second part of what’s needed is much more difficult to achieve. While both Boehner and McConnell are willing to allow meaningless symbolic votes, that they both know will go nowhere and cost them nothing politically, it is pretty clear neither has the spine for a protracted battle with Obama. Both would need to significantly stiffen their spines and step-up their whole game in dealing with the White House. They have to be able to get out of being purely reactive and allowing Obama to set the rules of engagement on every issue and instead mount a well coordinated and well thought out offensive push. Not sure either one has that in their skill set.

The real issue is time is NOT on our side at this point. We are after all only a few months from the official “go live” date. Again, elections do have consequences. However, if there were a massive groundswell of real outrage from the general public (70 percent or more openly protesting in the streets over Obamacare), then it may be possible to slow things down enough to allow the two items outlined above to occur.

chris stephens
8 years ago

Please unsubscribe me from your mailings and FB

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