Shot: Democrats’ 2014 strategy: Own Obamacare

Chaser:

The ever-falling support for the ever-unpopular Obamacare comes from a constituency that may be of interest to Democrats. Democrats:

The landmark health-reform law passed in 2010 has never been very popular and always highly partisan, but a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against Obamacare: Democrats who are ideologically moderate or conservative.

Just after the law was passed in 2010, fully 74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported the federal law making changes to the health-care system. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll, down 11 points in the past year. Liberal Democrats, by contrast, have continued to support the law at very high levels – 78 percent in the latest survey.

As you might imagine, self-described “liberal Democrats” make up a minority of the party, with 57 percent identifying as “moderate” or “conservative.”

I continue to fail to see how trying to repeal something a majority of Americans have never supported, which has only steadily falling support from large swaths of even Democratic voters, is the outside the mainstream. As with immigration, “you can make a pretty convincing case” that Republicans are closer to the American people than Democrats are in clinging to this thing, in full. As I’ve noted several times, nearly all repeal efforts have been more bipartisan than the passage of the original bill.

Liberal supporters of Obamacare assume it will prove its mettle when launched, despite many reasons to believe otherwise. They’re right that subsidies once doled out, are hard to wean anyone off of, but it seems a wide open question whether the system for doling them out will even be operational in October, as required by law. In the meantime, reasonably deep skepticism about the law even within their own party ranks, make it hard to recruit as many people as possible to join the exchanges, which could lead to the dreaded rate “death spiral.”

Hence, Operation Oprah, to get young people on the hook so they can subsidize the older and sicker. To be fair, people like Kanye can get young people to buy $120 plain white T-shirts, so maybe he can get them to make this bad financial calculation, too. But will it work for the moderate and conservative Democrats that keep the party viable?