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Democrats can win on Obamacare in 2014, a new survey conducted by by Dem pollster Geoff Garin  for Americans United for Change, the Center for American Progress, and SEIU, says. Likewise, Republicans can lose on it as well.
Only 36 percent of all voters say they would prefer Obamacare to be repealed, whereas a 40 percent plurality would prefer to leave the law as it is (15%) or just make minor changes (25 percent). Another 18 percent of voters support making major changes in the ACA. Among the key groups who are undecided in the 2014 generic Congressional ballot, only 39 percent want to repeal Obamacare.
The key for Democrats, analysts say, is to focus on the positive things the law does, but more importantly, to talk about how to fix it.
"The clear message here to Republicans is that they are out of kilter with the electorate because of their obsession with repealing Obamacare,” Garin said. [...] “This sends a very strong message to Democrats that taking the initiative, being proactive in making the case against repeal, and making the case for fixing and improving the law, is a very strong political position for 2014.”

[David Wasserman, the nonpartisan analyst who tracks House districts and races for Cook Political Report says] "Democrats are preaching keep; Republicans are preaching repeal. [...] The winning candidates in 2014 will most likely be preaching fix."

This highlights something that's been apparent for years from Kaiser Family Foundation surveys and something we've been talking about here for three years: A good portion of the opposition to Obamacare comes from the segment of the population that thinks the law didn't go far enough to fix health care. They certainly aren't for repeal, they want the law to work better. Arguing that Democrats will work to make the existing law better, while Republicans want to take everything away is the message that will appeal to the majority of voters.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (41+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:09:39 PM PDT

  •  I think Dems need to establish sabotage frame... (18+ / 0-)

    Because much of the GOP is trying to make the roll out as messy as possible and will then gleefully hit in every bump and hiccup.  Obama Admin needs to be ready to publish and push hard a rate comparitive - California, Maryland, New York rates - governments working hard with the Admin to see the ACA work compared to red states who have a political vested interest in seeing high rates.

    OFA should use some of their money to roll out a nationwide ad campaign touting the benefits of Obamacare and rates in the blue states compared to the red states.  

    If you're not talking about what billionaire hedgefund bankster Peter G. Peterson is up to you're having the wrong conversations.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:15:43 PM PDT

  •  Rick Ungar over @ Forbes: (23+ / 0-)


    ... Medicare was revamped in 1967 and 1972 to deal with changes that were required as a result of unintended consequences. Social Security was constantly tinkered with for more than 20 years following initial passage of the landmark law.

    So why can’t we simply take another look at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now that we’ve had a few years since passage to see where problems exist that were not contemplated or expected at the time of passage?

    The answer, in a word—Republicans. ...

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:21:28 PM PDT

  •  I would take issue with the word "only" (6+ / 0-)

    in "only 39% (of undecideds) want to repeal Obamacare"...39% is not an "only," it's a lot. Democrats need to seriously gin up enthusiasm and turnout if we want to have any hope of improving the ACA rather seeing it limp along getting hacked at by the Tea Partiers as it is now.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:33:13 PM PDT

    •  This is what favorable polling looks like? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'd take issue with the whole constructed plurality.  Even as stated above 36 vs 40% (+/-3) is essentially a tie.  That may be enough since inertia is on the "keep as is" side, but hardly sounds like great news.

      But the actual results were 36% repeal, 18% major change, 25% minor change, 15% as-is.  That makes 36% repeal a pretty strong plurality; 54% repeal/major vs 40% minor/as-is also sounds bad.

      I've been a big fan of "much of the opposition wishes Obamacare did more" but I'm having trouble seeing that in this poll.

    •  I am part of that 39% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Willa Rogers

      But I want to move to medicare for all. How many others in that 39% feel the same?

      The Job Killing Republican Party is directly responsible for the Great Bush Recession.

      by earthling1 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:10:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Young people over 26 with no health care need (4+ / 0-)

    to take the burden of risk off their parents if something should happen to them.  They should buy into the exchanges and insure themselves.

    Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

    by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:45:35 PM PDT

  •  Is That Survey Typical Midterm Voters (0+ / 0-)

    because if it's not, the Republicans may be OK on the issue in 2014.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:57:50 PM PDT

  •  I get surveys from a couple of (0+ / 0-)

    internet polling sites, and I remember questions like that, with poorly worded answers. Repeal, Keep, Keep but fix - I probably said keep but fix, but that really sounds like you want to tone it down, not strengthen it. They should have used a pullout for that response: fix b/c it goes too far, or fix b/c it doesn't go far enough?

  •  Please say "IMPROVE" it - not "fix" it. (13+ / 0-)

    Control expectations!

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:18:07 AM PDT

  •  Town Hall with NC-10 McHenry (R) last night (6+ / 0-)

    Lots of questions about Obamacare, and lots of boos following his answers. Granted, this is Asheville, and people are generally pissed off, but he had an uncomfortable show to put on for a standing room only crowd.

    Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit.

    by cultjake on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:30:58 AM PDT

  •  But that would go against the Dem. tradition (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roberb7, Satya1, ferg, kenwards

    Of running scared about everything! Does Obamacare cover spine transplants for Democratic politicians?

    If I'M gay, and YOU'RE gay.... then WHO'S FLYING THE PLANE???

    by Fordmandalay on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:31:15 AM PDT

  •  Sham polling makes baby Jesus cry. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell

    So many of these polls are a complete sham, though, aren't they?  When a poll respondent answers that "we need to repeal and replace Obamacare with the Republican alternative", they need to immediately be asked specifically which Republican plan they favor.   Name the Senator.  Name the bill.   Give the specifics.   What, precisely, do you want it replaced with?   When the person hems and haws for 20 minutes and then comes back with, "I don't know of any Republican plan", it needs to show up on the poll as "person responded they wanted to replace Obamacare with nothing".

  •  What animal... (0+ / 0-)

    Do we need to sacrifice in order for this to happen?  Seriously, how much more information do we need before somebody realize the dirty fucking hippies are right?

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

    by RichM on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:35:34 AM PDT

  •  Voters need to know that the USDA wasn't liked (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell, shoeless

    in the beginning.

     In 1900 people spent more than 40% of their income on food. The agricultural system was fragmented and disorganized. Farmers didn't take to change and resisted things like crop rotation as "book farming".

    When the USDA was created to improve agriculture, farmers had to be convinced to change their old ways.
    Pilot programs were introduced to try different things for improvement. It didn't happen overnight and there was much criticism from critics like "Southern Farm Magazine" that denounced it as government control of agriculture.
    Eventually changed was accepted and now we have
    highly productive output which is consistent.

    Using this as an example helps people to understand that the most reliable things in their lives , like food production,was not always a constant.

    This could be sold better as "new and improved" or a lot of different ways. People want and need this change.

  •  Elections are late in 2014. Mandate is early. (6+ / 0-)

    There won't be much need for evangelism. We'll have already run into ACA face first and discovered what we think about it.

    ACA removes considerable freedom to manage the family finances. Here's hoping the real act as implemented next year provides plenty in exchange.

    Key issues:

    1. How well will the exchanges work?
    2. How easy will it be to realize the subsidies?
    3. How mucy out-of-pocket cost will there be?
    4. Will the insurance we have to buy be a sufficient upgrade over high-deductible crapsurance to justify the price and/opr hassle we go through.
    5. And -- hey! I notice that silver insurance can have a $2500 deductible. That's half my current deductible, but...well, we'll see how that works out.

    If ACA rolls out smoothly and people are satsified, Dems can sell it. If not...not so much.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:46:32 AM PDT

    •  Yes. Obamacare attacks now are without merit. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, annan

      Yesterday, in a town hall meeting, Steve King made a far-fetched, unsubstantiated claim about a hypothetical woman who would see a 400% increase in health insurance premiums. When there's real data after the exchanges are up and running, it will be easier to debunk this kind of nonsense. Of course, that won't keep people like King from spewing lies about Obamacare.

  •  I'm on the improvement bandwagon. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vatexia, cocinero, Mr MadAsHell, shoeless

    I see the most useful part of the ACA being the local innovation provisions that potentially open the door for states like Vermont to implement single payer systems. If I'm not mistaken that window opens in 2017, so we've got some time where we need to focus on improving other parts of the law for states that won't go down that path until it eventually proves superior in practice - and I'm confident it'll prove superior in practice.

    Running on a proactive solutions platform is never a bad idea anyway. There just aren't that many voters who really want stagnation and obstruction. It's a vocal minority, but a minority nonetheless.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." -Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:46:50 AM PDT

  •  Midterm elections are lost (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, ferg, shoeless

    because voters don't show up. In 1994, Newt created what amounted to a national campaign without a national candidate. Democratic voters, not grasping what was happening,  stayed home. In 2014, a campaign to prevent ACA from being destroyed can bring those voters to the polls, in the same coalition that got President Obama reelected, & in considerably larger numbers than those who want it repealed.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:49:16 AM PDT

  •  The danger for us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, ratcityreprobate

    is to start talking about Obromneycare as not good enough. Yes, I know that it probably isn't good enough, but it's far and away the best we are going get any time soon. So just put those medicare-for-all tricare-for-all national-health canada france single-payer public-option thoughts on the back burner. There'll be plenty of time for that after the revolution.

    I agree that what we may be able to get now, mostly from executive decisions, of course, are tweaks designed to make the existing law work “even better”, and of course steady pressure on people resisting the existing law to perceive it as it really is, not as what they've heard people on TV say about it.

  •  Where is THEIR plan? WE need to be sure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, cosmicvoop, shoeless

    that we always start with...the status quo was NOT working, so either Obamacare or GOPcare and I see no plan of theirs...oh wait, I live in NYC so the fix is I can buy insurance in South Dakota! that will fix everything

    •  Yes, exactly (4+ / 0-)

      And if a Republican ever says this, we need to IMMEDIATELY slap them down with cold, hard facts.    The state of Georgia passed a law in April 2010 which was sponsored by Georgia Representative Matt Ramsey (on behalf of Governor Perdue) that allowed insurance companies to sell plans from other states in Georgia, and guess what happened?   The insurance companies never offered anything.    The entire law was passed for nothing.  Not a single company signed up.  Not one.   NPR contacted the biggest health plans in Georgia – including Blue Cross, Aetna, Humana, United and Kaiser – but not one of them would offer a comment as to why.   They simply ignored the law and offered nothing.

      “Nobody has even asked to be approved to sell across state lines,” Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said.

      Forbes magazine ran a story in May 2012 titled "Georgia Cross-State Health Insurance Sales A Major Bust".

      So when a Republican sheep starts mindlessly bleating about "selling insurance across state lines is the solution", what they are selling is a falsehood.   It has already been tried, and it has already failed miserably.  It does nothing, it solves nothing, and helps nobody.

    •  Their plan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosmicvoop, merrywidow, HeyMikey

      is chickens and the emergency room.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:25:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obamacare makes Medicare stronger (6+ / 0-)

    That's a message that needs to get out.

    According to the Medicare Trustees.

    The Medicare program will be solvent through 2026, nearly a decade longer than projected at the time of passage of the Affordable Care Act. This is 2 years longer than projected last year.
    Affordable Care Act is driving innovation across the health industry by the creation of new care models, new payment incentives, and greater efficiency by health care providers – improvements that will benefit all health care consumers.
    •  great stuff (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      there are so many great aspects to the ACA as it stands now, without even getting into all the possible improvements, it's sometimes hard to narrow it all down to simple campaign slogans.
      I think the best is still that the Repubs want to return to the days when insurance companies could deny or remove coverage for any pre-existing condition or illness.  

  •  Democrats playing offense? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, untorqued, Mr MadAsHell, kenwards

    ... that would be a different world, and a better one.

    "A good portion of the opposition to Obamacare comes from the segment of the population that thinks the law didn't go far enough to fix health care."

    You betcha.

  •  They need to run on the mandate propping up (0+ / 0-)

    for-profit insurance.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:28:44 AM PDT

  •  Another aspect of the PR battle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red rabbit, cocinero

    is that the burden for it is not just going to fall on the administration.

    Employers are gearing up for ACA and don't want to get jerked around at this point.  It's the law and they've been working to roll it out.

    AND healthcare providers and insurance companies are gearing up to sell healthcare services, products and insurance to new consumers of these things.  Their motivation is to inform as many people as they can about how ACA works and can be used to purchase their services and products.

    Republicans have succeeded in making ACA a defining issue.  All of us Democrats need to grab hold, get informed, get organize and shove it down their throats in 2014.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:31:00 AM PDT

  •  we should be doing this *now* (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red rabbit, cocinero

    I've read stories in major media the last two days about the issue that a number of religious denominations are raising about Obamacare regulations interfering with their ability to continue participating in employer-provided group health plans. Dems want to fix it, Repubs want to keep it broken and hang it around Dems' necks. But it doesn't seem like it'd be that hard for Dems to turn up the heat on Repubs' stonewalling and claim the mantle as the ones "preaching fix."

  •  should have done it in 2010 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there are so many good things to point to regarding the ACA without even getting into the whole improve/strengthen debate, and for the life of me I don't understand why the Democrats let themselves get steamrolled on this issue in 2010.
    -You and your children can't be denied health insurance for pre-existing conditions
    -You and your children can't be randomly dumped from your insurance because you get sick, or for whatever reason the insurance companies choose
    -The insurance companies are required to spend most of your premiums on actual health care-imagine that!  And you get some money back if they don't.

    Without even getting into the massive Medicaid expansion, the exchanges, and all the other provisions that will improve the lives of millions, those three above are enough to hammer Repubs with by themselves.
    "Republican Candidate X wants to return to the days when insurance companies can deny or revoke your coverage because your child is sick"
    It's a slam dunk, it should have been a slam dunk in 2010, and Obama for all his strengths as a candidate seemed very weak at making this very strong point.  It's not rocket science, and it doesn't require a seven figure consultant, although I'll gladly accept the fees from and candidates that are too scared or stupid to make the point.

  •  Ignore polls and go on offense (0+ / 0-)

    A novel concept for Dems I know.
    What if 60% said  "repeal" that mean Dems should do it? Does that make it the right thing to do?
    No as imperfect as ACA is it was still a hard fought significant advance. For once instead of cringing and apologizing for anything that doesn't have large majority support, or staying silent and sitting on our hands because something wasn't close enough to the ideal, let's see Dems take the fight to the other side and make their case to the public.
    Talk up the positives:
    No denial for pre-existing conditions
    Children staying on plan until age 26
    Uninsured get covered lowering overall costs.

    And point out the GOP is offering nothing in the way of a plan and their shenanigans create uncertainty for businesses and the marketplace. And haven't we heard time and again how uncertainty makes powerful corporate chieftains and baby Jesus cry?

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:33:44 AM PDT

  •  A good omen from my insurer... (0+ / 0-)

    My family is insured via an individual policy. We live in Georgia. We just got a letter from our insurer offering to lock us in at our current premium through November 2014.

    Think about that. When was the last time anyone's annual premium increase was zero?

    Um, of course, never.

    I believe my insurer has figured out that come 10/1/13, I'll be able to log onto the exchange and get a better deal.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:45:26 AM PDT

  •  three things you can do now (0+ / 0-)

    1. If ACA will help you, write a letter to the editor, post in comment threads, discuss in conversations and hand write letters to your reps and sens how it will. For example, I am an individual in the market. My wife and I have a policy that costs us $575 a month with a $7,000. On Oct. 1 I will be able to get a silver plan on the WA state exchange that is comprehensive and will cost $225 a month with a $250 deductible and with a $20 co-pay. I will save $350 a month! I'm telling everybody. Even if all my friends and family have good insurance, now they know someone who will be helped in a big way.

    2. People who refuse to get insurance are freeloaders. You have to step up and say it. I have friends who own a business who do not have insurance and intend to pay the fine rather than get it. I have told them -- politely -- that is irresponsible because one of them could get cancer and lose the business and still stick the rest of us with the tab and a bronze plan that will be very affordable.

    3. explain that by its very nature insurance is subsidy. Healthy people pay for sick people. The larger the risk pool the less it will cost for everybody. Now income will be  factored into the premium delineators to help lower costs for everybody.

    "It is in the shelter of each other that the people live." -- Irish Proverb

    by Our Man in Twisp on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:51:11 AM PDT

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