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We Need More Health Care Reform

Yglesias » Affordable Care Act Repeal Unlikely, Unpopular.jpg

Matthew Yglesias:

Affordable Care Act Repeal Unlikely, Unpopular: Nobody is head over heels in love with the Affordable Care Act, but McClatchy notes that much of the discontent is from the left and the public constituency for repeal is quite small:

On the side favoring it, 16 percent of registered voters want to let it stand as is. Another 35 percent want to change it to do more. Among groups with pluralities who want to expand it: women, minorities, people younger than 45, Democrats, liberals, Northeasterners and those making less than $50,000 a year. Lining up against the law, 11 percent want to amend it to rein it in. Another 33 percent want to repeal it. Among groups with pluralities favoring repeal: men, whites, those older than 45, those making more than $50,000 annually, conservatives, Republicans and tea party supporters.

Nothing surprising about the demographics here or the outcome. If you polled me on this, I’d count myself as someone who wants to expand the law. To give a more nuanced view, though, I think there’s room for both expansion and curtailment. What’s more, even though few in Congress want to hear it the reality is that we need to do more health reform. Much more. The cost/quality situation is nowhere near good enough. What’s needed, in political terms, is some kind of credible escape hatch through which conservative politicians can engage with changing health care law in some way other than demanding repeal. This is what I think is promising about the Scott Brown / Ron Wyden state waiver initiative.