Washington, D.C. - With Republicans in Congress in disarray and disagreement on their anti-Obamacare strategy, leading health law advocates -- SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and Counselor to Center for American Progress Action Fund Neera Tanden together with leading pollster Geoffrey Garin - today revealed a new poll demonstrating voters' negative sentiments towards the GOP's tactics and predicting Republicans could pay a stiff political price at the ballot box.
The results show that key issues for voters are: Republicans' unwillingness to help people understand the health law; GOP governors' unwillingness to accept the law's Medicaid funds, which would bring health security to their most vulnerable citizens; and Congressional Republicans' relentless efforts to repeal the law and leave Americans at the mercy of the insurance companies.
Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU): "Members of Congress who persist with calls to repeal and defund the Affordable Care Act with no plan to replace the benefits of the law will find themselves on the on the wrong side of voter opinion at the ballot box, but more importantly, on the wrong side of history."
Neera Tanden, Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund: "That the extreme tea party wing of the Republican party is demanding their leaders force a government shutdown over funding of the Affordable Care Act is appalling. People don't want to litigate Obamacare forever; they just want to figure out how to make it work."
Geoffrey Garin, President of Hart Research Associates: "The key takeaway from this survey is that voters' main focus for the Affordable Care Act is now on improving it and implementing it effectively, rather than on repealing it. After voting in favor of repeal for the 40th time last week, House Republicans' handling of the ACA puts them sharply out of step with most voters. Strong majorities of voters reject Republicans who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no real alternative to replace it, and who would go back to letting insurance companies do and charge whatever they want. By the same token, there is broad support for Democrats who want to improve the Affordable Care Act while making sure it is implemented effectively."
Among the key findings of the Garrin-Hart-Yang Research Poll:
- The large majority of voters do not want Congress to repeal Obamacare. Only 36% of all voters say they would prefer Obamacare to be repealed, whereas a 40% plurality would prefer to leave the law as is (15%) or make just minor changes (25%). Even a third of likely Republican voters do not want to repeal the law.
- Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare now put them at an electoral disadvantage, and engaging on this issue actually improves the standing of Democratic candidates. When the choice in the 2014 election is presented as "a Democrat who favors fixing and improving Obamacare rather than repealing it altogether" versus "a Republican who wants to totally repeal Obamacare," voters favor the Democratic candidate (51%) over the Republican candidate (36%) by 15 percentage points.
- Voters feel intensely negative toward Republican candidates who have worked to repeal or undermine the law, especially those who are unwilling to help their constituents take advantage of the benefits and protections available to them under the ACA. Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters express unfavorable feelings toward "a Republican who, as an elected official, refuses to help individuals and small businesses understand how best to deal with Obamacare and take advantage of its benefits." Even among voters inclined to support a Republican candidate, three in five (61%) have a negative impression of incumbents who are making it harder to implement the law.
- Voters express overwhelmingly positive feelings toward Democrats who will work to improve Obamacare and facilitate its implementation, and help constituents understand how the new law will affect them. By a three to one margin, voters say they would be favorable (60%) rather than unfavorable (19%) toward "a Democrat who, as an elected official, wants to help individuals and small businesses in their state understand how best to deal with Obamacare and take advantage of its benefits."
Today's poll briefing came as progressive groups across the country that are highlighting Obamacare's benefits for women this week, several of which kicked in on August 1st. Here is a sampling of activity:
- MICHIGAN: Planned Parenthood President Lori Lamerand, SEIU Healthcare Michigan President Marge Robinson, and women who are impacted by Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act to hold a press call Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 10:30 a.m. For dial-in info, contact: Darci E. McConnell, 313.686.8094, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- OHIO: Stephanie Kight, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Jenny Brodie, policy analyst with Innovation Ohio - three Ohio public advocates for women's rights and access to affordable, quality healthcare - will hold a press conference calling on Congressional and state Republicans to cease political maneuvering and the disinformation against health care reform. WHEN: Thursday, August 8th, 10 a.m. WHERE: YWCA Columbus, 65 South Fourth Street, Columbus, Ohio 1st Floor Library
- GEORGIA: Women For Obamacare to Rally at State Capitol, Tout Benefits Specific to Women. Speakers include: Georgia State Senator Nann Orrock; Elisabeth Omilami, Human Rights Advocate/Civil Rights Leader; Dr. Sandra Ford, DeKalb County Public Health Director; Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith, Georgia Reproductive Specialist; Jemea Dorsey, Executive Director, Center For Black Women's Health; Keisha C. Kuma, Married Mother of 3 with Multiple Sclerosis whose pre-existing condition is covered under Obamacare; Leaders from Planned Parenthood; Leaders from Georgians for a Healthy Future. WHEN:Thursday, August 8, 2013; 2 pm. WHERE: Georgia State Capitol (Exterior steps on Washington Street side) 206 Washington St., S.W. Atlanta, GA 30335
- ILLINOIS: On Thursday, August 8 in Chicago, Americans United for Change and Protect Your Care we will join the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and other progressives to protest outside America Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s convention where they will no doubt be plotting their next assault on Obamacare's benefits for women, seniors, and those with 'pre-existing conditions' and other progressive priorities. WHERE: Palmer House Hilton | Monroe and State. WHEN: August 8 at 11:45 a.m. CT. On the ground contact: Laura McElroy, 630-803-4379.