One of the telling ironies of the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare is that it has helped to push public support for the law into the majority for the first time, a fact that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) learned Thursday night on live on television.
Nothing about the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare indicates that they have any idea what Americans want from their health care system, or that Americans really do want to keep the health care reform act that has extended care to millions.
And Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made that ignorance crystal clear — on live television.
King got a measure of comeuppance on MSNBC’s All In when he was informed for the first time, live on television, that a majority of Americans now support the Affordable Care Act. Host Chris Hayes had the privilege of breaking the news to him:
HAYES: When you say we know what they don’t want, what do you make of the fact that polling shows majority approval for the Affordable Care Act?
KING: Oh, gosh, I’d say that’s a surprise to me. And I’m surprised because the other data that I’ve seen along the way — I haven’t any checked any most recently — I wouldn’t think my colleagues would be as eager to repeal Obamacare if the polling showed people want to keep it.
Hayes went on to say that “it is the case that [Obamacare] was unpopular for a long time,” which is not exactly true, either: An underreported fact about the Affordable Care Act is that consistent and overwhelming majorities either favor the law, or wanted it expanded. This is simply the first time that support for the law as is has surpassed 50 percent.
In the most recent round of polls, a whopping 58 percent of Americans either want Obamacare to remain as is, or be changed so it does more. The Affordable Care Act has never deserved the “unpopular” label it was given, but least of all now.
In their desperation to sell this repeal plan, Republicans have reverted to their familiar “welfare queen” narrative, which does not figure to improve their plan’s popularity. Nor will the Congressional Budget Office’s upcoming score, which will show the plan would kick millions off of health insurance and blow a hole in the deficit.
If King is surprised now, he should buckle up, because things are only going to get worse for Republicans and their plan to take health care away from millions of Americans.