EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

September 29, 2013

Column: Obamacare losing support even among Democrats

This week’s 21-hour, 19-minute soliloquy by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas apotheosized Republican dissatisfaction with “Obamacare.” Likewise, the GOP House recently voted to finance everything in Washington, minus the Affordable Care Act.

A real surprise lies behind these headlines: Democrats are falling out of love with Obamacare.

Last year, according to a Washington Post-ABC News survey, 68 percent of Democrats supported Obamacare. By July 23, however, only 58 percent of Obama’s fellow donkeys backed his chief initiative. Liberal Democrats’ approval of this law rose from 74 percent in 2010 to 78 in July.

But moderate and conservative Democrats have fled on health care. In 2010, as Obamacare careened through a Democratic Congress, 76 percent of center-right Democrats cheered, while 20 percent hissed. By last July 23, only 47 percent of those Democrats endorsed Obamacare; 46 percent disapproved.

Fox News discovered that 56 percent of Democrats were “concerned” about their “personal health care under the new health care law,” it reported Sept. 17. Forty-three percent disagreed.

Obamacare generates merely polite applause even among black Americans, the cornerstone of Obama’s political base. “Eighty-seven percent of blacks approve of Obama’s job performance overall,” explained another ABC News-Washington Post study released Sept. 20. “But just 48 percent support his signature health care law.”

This research echoes growing doubts about Obamacare among leading Democrats and the union bosses who love them.

“We’ve got millions of people — working-class, middle-class people -- who are going to be pushed into a regulatory health coverage no man’s land,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., warned last Valentine’s Day. “They are unable to afford the family coverage through their employer and ineligible for the subsidy that could be used by dependents on the exchange.”

On March 21, 33 Senate Democrats voted for a non-binding resolution against Obamacare’s medical-device tax. Illinois’ Dick Durbin, Minnesota’s Al Franken, and Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski were among those who decried this job-killing, innovation-crushing 2.3 percent levy on the gross revenues, rather than profits, of health-implement manufacturers. On June 7, 2012, 37 Democrats and 233 Republicans backed a bill by U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., to kill this cruel, senseless tax.

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