Politics

Obamacare polls give Republican health reformers hope

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A newly released poll poll finds that two out of three Americans would like to see major changes to the Affordable Care Act.

The poll by the Morning Consult, a medical industry trade publication, found that while 34 percent of registered voters would like Obamacare defunded or repealed entirely, another 33 percent of respondents on top of that want to see some changes made to the health care reform law.

Sixty-seven percent oppose the individual mandate, with 77 percent in favor of either repealing or delaying it. This includes 65 percent of Democrats.

The survey also found 57 percent of respondents fear Obamacare will increase their health care costs, while just 21 percent think they can expect higher quality care.

Conservative pundit David Freddoso noted that the results may warn of wide support for a “full replacement of Obamacare with something that is better than the pre-Obamacare status quo.”

Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price has been pushing such a proposal since Obamacare passed in 2009.

“Obamacare will need a replacement,” Price told National Review Online, “because it won’t work.”

Price’s bill includes interstate competition for health insurance sales and tort reform to ease anxious physicians wary of lawsuits, but also uses tax credits and other incentives rather than mandates to get individuals into the insurance market

The current system so widely favors employer-provided health care that a true change, according to American Enterprise Institute health care reform expert Thomas Miller, requires a long-term transition period not popular in politics. Some proposals have claimed to fix the problem in the past, such as John McCain’s 2008 reform proposal, but failed to fix the problem with tax credits that couldn’t even out the inequities.

One of Obamacare’s flaws is that it enshrines the employer-based subsidy system in the future, according to Miller — making the system worse than it is now and leading to even bigger problems in the future.

“If you’re having a competition for who’s the ugliest, the Affordable Care Act obviously wins,” Miller told TheDCNF.

Miller’s advice is to get out of the subsidy business altogether. “Think of a way to substantially reduce, if not eliminate, health care subsidies,” Miller he TheDCNF. “Then, if there are still some people left without coverage because they’re poor or have high cost conditions, subsidize them.”

Prioritizing those with the most need and cutting government-inflated health care costs are pillars that any real health care reform should uphold. Miller argued that for all its rules and regulations, Obamacare fails at both.

“The real original sin,” Miller concluded, “is government health care by subsidy.” When Republicans do coalesce around an alternative, a step towards reducing government payments may finally be included.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.