According to a new poll released Thursday, most Americans support U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) is unconstitutional.
“Six out of ten voters either want to go back to the way things were or start over,” Republican pollster Ashlee Rich Stephenson told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha, The Hill reported. “This fight is far from over.”
A full 58 percent said they think O’Connor’s December 2018 ruling should stand, and that America’s health care markets should return to their pre-Obamacare state or that President Donald Trump and Congress should start over, according to the Hill-HarrisX poll.
Those who agree with O’Connor’s ruling are divided on the next steps, however. Thirty-one percent of the poll’s respondents said President Trump and Congress should start over with a new health care policy, while 27 percent said the pre-Obama state of affairs should be allowed to return.
Similar divisions — over merely repealing Obamacare or “repealing and replacing” Obamacare — prevented Republicans from agreeing on a bill to repeal Barack Obama’s signature health care law. In the 2017 tax reform bill, Republicans repealed the Obamacare individual mandate, which the Supreme Court upheld as a tax in NFIB v. Sebelius (2012). Without the mandate, the law no longer makes sense and the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding it no longer applies.
Meanwhile, 43 percent of respondents said the ruling should be reversed, allowing the Affordable Care Act to stand. Even in this case, Obamacare would need serious reform in order to work.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 83 percent of Republicans agreed that O’Connor’s ruling should stand, while only 33 percent of Democrats agreed.
Even 59 percent of independents wanted O’Connor’s ruling to stand.
Despite the strong support for O’Connor’s ruling, more Republicans (46 percent) and more independents (33 percent) said they would prefer Trump and Congress to replace Obamacare. Fewer Republicans (37 percent) and independents (26 percent) said they would prefer a return to the pre-Obamacare status quo.
Last week, House Democrats filed a motion to allow the House to defend Obamacare against the Republican lawsuit, since the Trump administration has refused to defend the law. The Justice Department requested that a federal judge pause all briefings on that motion due to the government shutdown.
The poll had a relatively small sample size of 1,000 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.