Getting beyond Obamacare | National Review Online


Obamacare took a beating in the elections, but it is pretty safe from legislative attack over the next two years. Republicans should spend those years making it less safe during the next presidency.

Many, many Republicans who oppose Obamacare won their elections. And they ran on that opposition: No issue featured in more Republican ads. Democrats, meanwhile, were rarely vocal in support of the law, which has never had the approval of the majority of Americans. The next Senate will have nine more Republicans who would probably vote to repeal the law and nine fewer Democrats who would probably not.

The exit polls rendered a mixed, but mostly unfavorable, verdict on Obamacare. Those voters who listed health care as their top issue favored the Democrats. That has long been the case: Indeed, it is another way of saying that liberal voters have traditionally cared more about health policy than conservative ones. But the group of voters who care a lot about the issue now is much larger and less liberal than it was before Obamacare.

When all voters in the poll were asked whether the law “went too far,” was “just right,” or “did not go far enough” — a format that one would expect to inflate the results for the middle option — 49 percent said too far, more than the 46 percent for the other two options combined. That’s almost the same as the results in the exit polls from 2010, the Republican wave that happened the year Obamacare became law.

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