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Hometown: Florida
Current location: Orlando
Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 09:49 AM
Number of posts: 20,958

Journal Archives

The Individual Mandate albatross: Whole packages only as popular as their least popular provision

Percent of people (including Republicans) who support banning insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions: 82%
Percent of people (including Democrats) who strongly oppose the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act: 61%
Viewed as a whole, percent of people who support the Affordable Care Act: 44%
Who oppose: 56%

I don't expect the Supreme Court to strike down the Individual Mandate. It's too big of a bonus to the 1%, and we all know how much the Roberts Court LOVES them some 1%-ers. But, I'm not at all interested in this horse race. I'm much more interested in how we got here, and what we can do differently in the future.

To that end, I think this short article below is valuable. The stats above were lifted from it.

-- brook

What Ballot Initiative Campaigns Teach Us About the Popularity of the ACA

If you talk to people who have run a few ballot initiative campaigns, they will tell you that it is very important to get the language perfect. A ballot initiative may contain a lot of popular provisions, but one unpopular provision can easily cause it to be voted down by the people. The electorate can’t separately decide on the individual components; it is forced to accept or reject the whole package. Often initiatives are only as popular as their least popular provision. It’s the weak link that breaks the chain.

We have seen the same basic dynamic at play with the lack of popular support for the Affordable Care Act. Once again a new Reuter-Ipsos poll confirms that there are many provision in the ACA that enjoy broad bipartisan support. For example 82 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support banning insurers from denying coverage based on pre-exisiting conditions. The problem is that the law doesn’t only contain this popular provision. It also contains highly unpopular ones, like the individual mandate, which this poll found is opposed by 61 percent of Americans.

Voters judge the whole law as a single package, but the unpopular provisions tend to be given more weight in people’s total analysis than the popular ones. As a result of some deeply unpopular provisions dragging down overall support, only 44 back the law as a whole, while 56 percent oppose.

The whole law isn’t unpopular despite containing popular provisions because, as some claim, Republicans brilliantly won the message war. It doesn’t mean people are making blind partisan decisions because of the name “Obamacare.” Obama is after all much more popular than Obamacare. It also doesn’t mean people are against the law because they are ignorant of the “good things” in the law or don’t understand the trade offs. A Washington Post poll found just 42 percent want the Supreme Court to throw out the entire law, but when told throwing out the whole law was the only way to get rid of the mandate, support for complete repeal jumped to 55 percent.

Posted by nashville_brook | Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:44 PM (11 replies)
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