Voters Want the GOP to Move On from Obamacare
Policy + Politics

Voters Want the GOP to Move On from Obamacare

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

If attacking Obamacare is its number one campaign strategy, the GOP might want to regroup before November.

After enduring four years of intense political warfare over the president’s health care law, the majority of voters say they want candidates to stop talking about it and move on, a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found.

Related: The Hidden Impact of Obamacare on the Economy

Although the law remains largely unpopular among the public—45 percent have negative views of Obamacare—the majority would prefer that lawmakers fix it and then focus on other issues.

In fact, that same survey shows that most voters don’t even view Obamacare as the most important issue when considering whom to vote for this election season. Just one in 10 people said it was a key factor.

Instead, people say they are more concerned with the economy and jobs. A Gallup poll released in May found 89 percent of voters listed the economy as their top issue.

Still, Kaiser found that 60 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Independent respondents "think it is important for candidates for Congress to continue the debate over the health care law."

Republican strategist Brian Gottlieb of Purple Insights suggested that the GOP should “talk about the linkages between Obamacare and the economy,” since those are the main issues on voters' minds.

“My view is that the GOP should show (not tell) voters how their alternative to Obamacare (they need to propose an alternative first) will help to create jobs while improving the health care system overall,” Gottlieb said. "With 60 percent of the GOP wanting to continue the debate, it's difficult for them to pivot off Obamacare.”

While fewer people want to discuss Obamacare—even fewer say they support Republicans’ “repeal and replace strategy. The GOP seems to be taking note. As The Washington Post reports, the GOP seems to be retreating from its plan to offer an Obamacare alternative and instead is going for a more piecemeal approach of fixing the law.

Perceptions of the law are unsurprisingly divided between party lines.

Forty-six percent of Democrats reported knowing someone who got coverage under the new law, compared to just 19 percent of Republicans. Meanwhile, 34 percent of Republicans reported knowing someone who lost coverage or had a job-related impact compared to just 15 percent of Democrats.

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