GOP Should Repeal Healthcare Law Regardless of Polls

Polling data on healthcare shouldn’t be a decisive factor in the deliberations of either party.

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For the past 18 months, Republicans have felt the wind at their back when it comes to healthcare and public opinion.

But, as the New Republic’s Jonathan Chait recently noted, the picture is becoming a bit cloudier. New polling suggests that just 1 in 4 Americans want to see the new law repealed in whole.

Even among Republicans, support has dropped from 61 percent after the midterm elections to just 49 percent now.

[Check out a roundup of political cartoons on healthcare.]

How should this affect the upcoming House vote on repealing Obamacare?

Not at all, I hope.

Just as I argued in March 2010, when the tables were turned, polling data shouldn’t be a decisive factor in the deliberations of either party.

Democrats thought the bill was the right thing for the country, a moral improvement over an ugly status quo. Consequently, many of them lost their jobs. That’s exactly as it should be.

And now, even with a minority of the country favoring full repeal, House Republicans should move ahead with their plans, and for much the same reason: They believe it’s the right thing to do.

[See a roundup of this month's best political cartoons.]

Complicating this picture even further is the reality of gerrymandered congressional districts, whose ideological homogeneity protected the most liberal Democrats in Congress last November and, today, will obscure for Republicans the public’s diminishing appetite for repeal.

But that’s an argument for another day.

  • Check out a roundup of political cartoons on healthcare.
  • Follow the money in Congress.
  • Check out a roundup of this month's best political cartoons.