Americans, GOP aren’t on the same repeal page

AMERICANS, GOP AREN’T ON THE SAME REPEAL PAGE…. About a month ago, an Associated Press-GfK poll showed the public unhappy with the Affordable Care Act, but not in a way Republicans would like — 37% adopted the far-right line and support a full repeal, but a nearly identical number, 36%, want revisions want reform that goes even further. These 36% aren’t necessarily thrilled with the new law, but from their perspective, they want the reforms to be more expansive, not less.

Yet another poll points in a similar direction.

A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.

Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don’t like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.

Much of the public, like a few too many members of Congress, don’t fully understand the policy implications — the mandate makes coverage for pre-existing conditions possible — but this isn’t terribly unexpected.

The more important takeaway here is that congressional Republicans seriously believe the public is with them on health care policy, and voters will reward the GOP for pushing a full repeal of the new law. The evidence is overwhelming that this just isn’t the case.

Indeed, this poll is nearly identical to most of the data we’ve seen for months — if you ask Americans whether they like the Affordable Care Act, they say no. If you ask Americans whether they like what’s in the Affordable Care Act, they say yes. McClatchy-Marist found clear majorities favoring new protections for those with pre-existing conditions, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26, and closing the “donut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Republicans have every intention of eliminating all of these provisions.

In related news, a majority of Americans also endorse the Democratic tax plan — extending Bush-era rates only for those making less than $250,000 — not the GOP tax plan.

So, on the Republicans’ top two priorities, the public prefers the Democratic approach. It’s not exactly the stuff “mandates” are made of, though I don’t imagine Republican lawmakers will care.