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The Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health released polling this week demonstrating that the public is really over the fight over Obamacare, and wants states to start implementing it. They also want Medicare kept out of deficit cutting efforts.

Fifty-five percent of the public, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, say that establishing the exchanges—a key element of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and one whose implementation has divided states along partisan political lines—is a “top priority” for their governor and legislature [among health care policies]. [...]

“Governors are largely splitting along partisan lines on the exchanges, but the public is not. People like the idea,” said Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Similarly, while some Republican governors are balking at the optional expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, more Americans (52%) say their state should expand its Medicaid program than not (42%). But on Medicaid views differ sharply by party, with two-thirds of Republicans saying they prefer to keep their state Medicaid program as is (66%) and 3 in 4 Democrats (75%) seeking a state expansion. Independents are evenly divided.

A majority of Americans (52 percent) would still like to see improvements made to the Affordable Care Act, and 40 percent says that "those opposed to the health care law should accept that it is now the law of the land and stop trying to block [its] implementation."

And what about the deficit and health care? Continue below the fold to find out.

No less significant in the midst of continued deficit hysteria, six in ten (58 percent) oppose any spending cuts to Medicare and 46 percent oppose any cuts to Medicaid.

Raising taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations remains a very popular deficit strategy, "backed by roughly three in four Americans, including 60 percent of Republicans."

The importance of Medicare and Medicaid and support for increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations just doesn't change, poll to poll. Affordable health will remain a top priority for Americans as long as we are paying ridiculous amounts of money, particularly in comparison with the rest of the developed world, for our health care. At this point, Obamacare seems finally to be accepted as a starting point to that project by a majority of Americans.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:53 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:53:06 PM PST

  •  "Creating a health insurance exchange or mktplc" (6+ / 0-)

    That question is ridiculous.  At best 25% of the population knows what "creating a health insurance exchange or marketplace" even means.

    •  Agree, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      and I've heard people say they're looking forward to this so they can get cheap health care.
      I tell them that's not going to be the case: insurance in the exchanges is still going to be expensive, because healthcare is expensive.
      I don't think anyone really has any idea how this is going to work. Including many of the people who are working to construct the exchanges (and I know more than a few of them.)

      Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

      by stitchmd on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:13:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yesterday, my daughter overheard an elderly (14+ / 0-)

    couple talking at the dairy counter of our local supermarket.  They weren't certain they could afford to buy a gallon of milk so they were mulling over items they could forgo to purchase the carton of milk.  My daughter said it was so sad she wanted to pay for it, but she was afraid it would embarrass them so she just moved on.

    The discussions I've seen on this site re: the chained CPI always include at least one comment stating that the changes aren't large enough to affect elderly people.  That is a cruel argument.  I know many elderly people who are struggling to pay for basic necessities.

    If Democrats place any of our social safety net programs on the bargaining table, then it will cause a huge backlash that will have long term negative repercussions on our chances to win future elections.  This is one time they need to pay attention to the polls.

  •  In spite of the avalanche of bovine excrement (3+ / 0-)

    from the GOP and their barker, FOX, and the lapdogs who run the trad-med outlets, the citizens know what they want. That's heartening.

    I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

    by AllanTBG on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:18:04 PM PST

  •  shameful 20% (8+ / 0-)

    who think the TOP priority for their state's health care system is to limit access to reproductive care. Especially phrased like that, what a pathetic group of people.

    •  Conflicts with previous question (0+ / 0-)

      75% say supporting women's access to family planning and reproductive health services is a priority; 46% say LIMITING the exact same thing is a priority. Doesn't add up.

      Coupled with the fact that it seems almost impossible that 86% of voters or the public at large would even be familiar with the concept of insurance markets and exchanges, much less be apt to identify such a thing as a priority, I'd say this poll doesn't make much sense.

  •  Republicans don't want to cut Medicare (4+ / 0-)

    They want to "privatize" it - i.e., insert rent-seeking middlemen to more efficiently hoover up taxpayer money.

    Its Obama who wants to cut Medicare - because healthcare costs 2x here what it does anywhere else.

    We shouldn't oppose Medicare cost cuts, per se.  We should defend minimum benefits and low patient out-of-pocket costs.

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:19:25 PM PST

  •  So 60% think it's not the law and they should (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, Brooke In Seattle

    continue to block everything?  

    Who are these people??

  •  Dang, the Right's worst nightmare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, alice kleeman

    Remember when one of their big reasons for NOT passing healthcare reform was that people might like it?

    Guess they were right about that.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:21:33 PM PST

  •  I have come to believe that most of our elected (8+ / 0-)

    officials in D.C. couldn't care less what the American people want. They have their corporate overloads to please and that's what counts. There are a couple of exceptions that can be counted on one hand, but that's it.

    They will tell us one thing and vote another. And until money is taken out of politics this will not change.

    "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

    by hester on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:22:46 PM PST

  •  Sporting goods store and Medical Excise Tax (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, tofumagoo

    I posted a comment about this in the afternoon chat thread, but I'll repost here, where persons knowledgeable about ACA might see it and be able to help.

    So, judging from email I've received, it appears that an email is circulating out there to this effect:

    - a tremendously brave sporting goods store has decided to reveal to the world at large what Obama wants to keep hidden from sight, which is--

    - a medical excise tax that took effect on January 1.

    This store (which I believe is one called Cebala's, a big outfit) prints on its receipts the total amount, and then under that:

    Medical Excise Tax $---

    The copy of the receipt being sent around shows a bill for $247+ and "Medical Excise Tax" of $5+.

    It doesn't look like they're actually collecting the money as a medical excise tax, but they might want their customers to interpret it that way. (As far as I can tell: I'm not really sure whether they're collecting it or not.)

    Now, the only medical excise tax I could find that got underway on Jan. 1 was the medical device excise tax, which manufacturers and importers pay. It doesn't apply to things that individuals buy retail, like glasses and hearing aids.

    I did a quick search of Cebala's website and didn't see anything that looked like a medical device to diagnose, treat, ameliorate, prevent (etc.) disease.

    Is there an excise tax I'm overlooking? Is there something that stores sell to hunters or other sports oriented people that might be a medical device?

    I'd appreciate any insights, as I want to respond to the email I got with correct information.

    •  Software Error... (4+ / 0-)

      The most likely explanation seemed to be that some vendors switched over to new sales software on 1 January 2013 that was programmed to accommodate the new tax but improperly applied it to all purchases rather than just those of qualifying medical devices.

      Indeed, a Cabela's spokesman later confirmed that this was indeed the correct explanation:
      A companywide glitch in Cabela's cash register system that added a 2.3 percent “Medical Excise Tax” to customers' purchases — everything from boots to bullets — was an error and will be refunded, a company spokesman said.

      The error was discovered last week after consumers in several states notified the company that the surcharge appeared on their sales receipt and had been applied to all of their purchases.

      It was a glitch in the system,” said Cabela's spokesman Joe Arterburn said.

      The error was limited to transactions that occurred Jan. 1 and was caught that same day by the Sidney, Neb.-based hunting and outdoor outfitter.

  •  since when did majority support matter (5+ / 0-)

    in America? In 2000 SCOTUS installed a candidate who lost the popular vote into the Oval Office by judicial fiat.

    A supermajority of Americans supported the public option. We didn't get it, because the insurance companies funded an astroturf campaign to pass a fringe group of angry, paranoid lunatics off as a populist protest movement, and the Democrats shrugged and said, "Well, we have to let these guys have their say, even if they represent a tiny minority of the electorate."

    In this last election, a plurality of the electorate voted for Democratic representatives but we got a Republican House.

    Time to face facts. The majority opinion in America only matters when the 1% say it matters. Otherwise, it doesn't matter. Which is of course a polite way of saying, it doesn't matter at all.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:41:34 PM PST

  •  If the Right gave a damn about public opinion (3+ / 0-)

    we wouldn't have had most of the last 40 years of Movement Conservative overreach. If the media gave a shit about public opinion Simpson and Bowles wouldn't be the Justin Bieber and Katy Perry of the Village.

    Getting this kind of news used to buck me up.

    Now, it just makes me marvel even more at the 'heads you lose, tales we win' aspect of American public life.

    When, oh when, will the payoff for being so right and so rightly flying with the angels finally arrive once and for good?

    (Good God, can you imagine what life would be like in America right now if the public DID support the Teahadi? By the laws of GOP overreach, we might be talking about how to stop the return of workhouses, and efforts to add gays and lesbians to sex offenders registry lists because not being straight means you are a sexual deviant.)

    It's a fucking weird feeling being right and having broadbased public support confirming that and having it mean so little in the policy arena and the discourse about our politics because there don't seem to be any consequences for cheating, lying, and fraud, let alone defying the gravity of the nation's will.

    We are right. We know we are right.

    It's true, the public loves liberal policy, wants liberal cornerstones protected, wants more liberal outcomes, and the GOP is radically out of step with many Americans.

    But that has been true for years.

    And if Reince Priebus had his electoral college scam in place, Mitt Romney would be preparing to nominate John Bolton to be Secretary of State, and Liz Cheney as Defense Secretary just the same.

    The dynamic in DC is still to act as if the GOP isn't run by crazy people, and to treat people acting in bad faith as if they are acting in good faith. Harry Reid cut a deal with Mitch McConnell, and not 48 hours later, McConnell is fundraising on how he suckered Harry Reid into the outcome that desired.

    The bamboozlement of the public, and the uselessness of the news media beyond their role in that bamboozlement, kind of makes it very dangerous to dwell too much on how sobering the polling data is if you are a Movement Conservative.

    All they learn is to lie more, cheat more, and wait for the Democrats to negotiate with them as if they are acting in good faith.

    Heath Ledger's Joker Party doesn't care what the public wants, they care what David and Charles Koch want.

    We note the public agrees with us as if that means anything to the Right while they are rigging the game so a Democrat can't be President and the House needs electoral tsunamis to re-take it.

    We could wake up on day and find that a Republican Presidential nominee who is out-of-step with the nation can lose the popular vote, and by a substantial margin, and still be sworn in come that next January because he wins rural Congressional districts gerrymandered to always send a GOPer to the House.

    I can't take comfort in the polls anymore in an era where being on the wrong side of history just means you have to cheat more audaciously and more often.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:53:44 PM PST

  •  How well will the exchanges work (3+ / 0-)

    Now that the non-profit co-ops in the ACA were cut in the fiscal cliff deal? I have no faith in the insurance companies to lower prices without competition from the Co-ops.

  •  That is a weirdly high number, like really weird (0+ / 0-)

    Are 55% of voters - much less 80%+ - even familiar with the concept of insurance exchanges? It seems absurd to even ask... So what on earth are so many saying yes for?

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