Lots of Americans still want to repeal Obamacare

March 19, 2013

The Affordable Care Act hits its third anniversary at the end of this week. It has survived a Supreme Court ruling and a presidential election. None of that seems to have tamped down Republican voters' desire to see the law repealed.

A new poll from McLaughlin & Associates, conducted for the Young Guns Network, finds that 32 percent of respondents wants to see the Affordable Care Act repealed. That number stands at 59 percent among self-identified Republican voters.

Twenty-six percent of Republican voters, meanwhile, supported changing the Affordable Care Act in some way.

This is a bit of a hard spot for Republican legislators: Most of their voters want something that is nearly impossible for them to deliver, a goal that they have shied away from this year. As Dave Weigel smartly observed a few months ago, repeal legislation has lost its steam on Capitol Hill after House Speaker John Boehner remarked earlier that Obamacare was the "law of the land."

Still, repeal rhetoric exists: You saw it last week, when House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan introduced a budget that would, among other things, repeal the health law (at least its new spending, if not its tax cuts). Even if repeal attempts are, essentially, dead on arrival, there's still reason for Republicans to keep the discussion alive: their voters.

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Brad Plumer · March 19, 2013