It’s a question often asked these days in conservative circles: Do you really think Obamacare can be repealed? Usually uttered behind closed doors, the question reveals both an un-Reagan-like pessimism and something of a disconnect from political reality.
Obamacare was profoundly unpopular when the Democrats went ahead and passed it anyway, daring the American people to make them pay. Voters responded by removing more Democrats from congressional seats—69 between the two chambers—than they had since before Ted Williams first donned a Red Sox uniform, in the spring of 1939. In 2012, the failed Republican presidential-selection process yielded a nominee who didn’t make Obamacare a central issue and later called it “very attractive.” He lost despite Obamacare’s continuing unpopularity, which was indicated by exit polling. Now that Obamacare has finally gone into effect, its combined impact on Americans’ health insurance, their health costs, and their personal freedom—not to mention the nation’s solvency—has been far worse than its supporters advertised and possibly even worse than its opponents predicted. In response, President Obama has refused to implement the legislation as written, unlawfully altering parts of it as if he were a one-man Congress. Meanwhile, the 123 polls taken on Obamacare during his second term (according to Real Clear Politics) have all found it to be unpopular, with more than two-thirds of those polls—and 8 of the 10 most recent polls—showing approval deficits in the double-digits.