On Obamacare, Conservatives Moving Public Opinion

Sep 11, 2013

As Heritage noted last night, support for Obamacare has dropped below 40 percent. There is a key paragraph in the article accompanying CNN's new poll:

The poll's release comes after a major push the past six weeks by conservative groups to try and defund the health care law. There has also been a huge disparity over the past couple of years in ad spending over the issue, with groups opposed to Obamacare greatly outspending those in favor of the measure. The new poll suggests the negative advertising may be taking a toll. The forces opposed to the health care law have also been much more active on social media than those supportive of the law. And the one year delay in the implementation of the employer mandate, another key component of the law, which was well publicized earlier this year, may have also contributed to the loss of support. (emphasis added)

Conservative groups - including Heritage Action with our nine-city defund tour - made Obamacare the central issue heading into September (granted, Syria briefly eclipsed Obamacare in the news media). CNN suggest the concerted effort made by conservative opponents of the law helped drive down approval ratings.

The impact occurred even as some lamented the "inexcusable tragedy of this August recess is that Republicans are so busy fighting one another over how to pressure Democrats that they've utterly failed to pressure Democrats." Far from distracting Americans from the ills of Obamacare, the high-profile battle waged by proponents of defunding brought the issue to the forefront.

Of course, the so-called "inexcusable tragedy" was completely avoidable. In July, Roll Call reported Heritage Action urged lawmakers to join the defund effort:

But [Heritage Action's Dan] Holler insists this effort is about the GOP's last chance to stop implementation of the health care law. He said this was leadership's opportunity to show the nation what conservatives really stand for.
"We'd love to be pushing with them to defund Obamacare, and if they did, we'd be side by side with them," Holler said. "And it'd be awesome."

Obamacare is on the ropes - according to some polls it is less popular than using military force to degrade Syria's chemical weapon capabilities. There is still time for the Republican House to do the right thing and defund Obamacare. Make the call.