As Republicans, we have obviously not managed to convey our message about the dangers of Obamacare adequately, as even people in traditional GOP stronghold states in the south are now voicing their support for this expensive entitlement program. It is clear that our southern party members are satisfied with the insurance they have received through Obamacare, even if they were forced to sign up for it. This is not what we expected from the southern states at all.
According to the New York Times, most of the southern support for Obamacare is coming from Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana, and, to a lesser extent, Arkansas. However, some measure of support for the program is now found among GOP voters in all of the normally red southern states.
Reform Rather than Repeal
According to the New York Times, Republican voters in red states want Congress to reform the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) rather than repeal it, as so many of our Republican Congressional members have stated they intended to do.
This means that if Obamacare is repealed by Republican legislators, they may very well lose the support of a large portion of their traditional voter base. With this in mind, the entire strategy toward Obamacare by the Republican Party will have to be reconsidered. The roof has officially fallen in on Republicans as a poll of Southern red states has found that in each state people want to keep their Obamacare.
The poll also revealed that while Republican voters in these southern states are voicing their official disapproval of the health care law, they also want to keep it. They say it is working well in their states. There appears to be a dichotomy between Republican voters saying they disapprove of the law (because they think, as Republicans, they should say this) and them actually liking what Obamacare is doing for them.
Support for an Obama Initiative in States that Oppose Obama
The south has been no friend to Obama, with the majority of the voters in North Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas voicing disapproval of the president in general. There is also vocal disapproval of the way he has handled health care reform. Yet, amazingly, the Republican voters of these states would still rather keep Obamacare than discard it.
They give their approval to suggestions of reforming the law, but give no specifics as to what reforms should be made. Not only that, but, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the majority of Republican voters in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Louisiana, where Medicaid has not been expanded, support the expansion of this program.
Obamacare and the Upcoming Elections
It is quite obvious that despite the messages of Republican lawmakers about the dangers of Obamacare, people want it, even if they are Republicans. While it doesn’t go about doing it in the best possible way, Obamacare does provide access to affordable health care for people who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Even Republican voters want this, in spite of the drawbacks of the program.
Because Republican lawmakers have consistently voiced their preference for repealing Obamacare, it is therefore easy to explain why Democrats are leading in polls for the upcoming Senate races in Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Louisiana, according to the New York Times. Opposing Obamacare has become a political liability for Republican lawmakers. Continuing to openly oppose it may cost them in the upcoming elections, allowing Democrats to retain control of the Senate, and giving them an opportunity to gain control of the House.
Some Republicans have been running on platforms based on repealing Obamacare. This is obviously not going to work in their favor. Voters have made it clear they want to keep the program. While the GOP has put forth some of its own alternatives to Obamacare, there has never been enough support for any of these alternatives from a large enough number of Republican lawmakers to allow any one of them to gain traction as a viable replacement for the program.
Until Republican lawmakers can agree on an alternative to Obamacare that is acceptable to voters, it is best if they don’t talk about Obamacare at all in the upcoming elections if they want to win.