If America is rooting for a particular side in the most momentous Supreme Court review in decades, Gallup’s latest poll indicates that they aren’t rooting for the White House. By a narrow plurality, the general adult population wants ObamaCare repealed:
Given a choice, 47% of Americans favor repealing the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while 42% want it kept in place. Views on this issue are highly partisan, with Republicans strongly in favor of repeal and the large majority of Democrats wanting the law kept in place. …
In October, Gallup found 40% of Americans saying passage of the healthcare law was a good thing and 48% a bad thing.
Highly partisan? That’s not unfair, although it’s worth noting that independents favor repeal by about the same ratio as the general population, 48/43. Only 10% of Republicans want the PPACA left in place, but 21% of Democrats want it repealed.
Nevertheless, the debate has impacted the overall perception of health care as a government responsibility. Gallup provides this chart in today’s polling results showing that a formerly strong consensus on this point has evaporated:
That is a fairly impressive impact that ObamaCare has had on American politics, and one that the White House clearly didn’t anticipate.
Speaking of impact, as the battlefield on ObamaCare shifts to the Supreme Court, C-SPAN wants to televise the oral arguments — and hopes the unprecedented nature of the case will force Chief Justice John Roberts to allow cameras for the first time (via Instapundit):
CSPAN chairman Brian Lamb wrote Chief Justice John Roberts today requesting that he break with Supreme Court tradition and allow for a televised broadcast of the oral arguments in the Obamacare case.
We believe the public interest is best served by live television coverage of this particular oral argument,” Lamb wrote. “It is a case which will affect every American’s life, our economy, and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign.”
Lamb added that “a five-and-a-half hour argument begs for camera coverage.” He said that “interested citizens would be understandably challeged to adequately follow audio-only coverage of an event of this length with all the justices and various counsel participating.”
As the Washington Examiner reports, it’s the extraordinary length of the proceedings that might argue against it. Justice Antonin Scalia objected to the presence of the cameras more for what would happen to public perception of the session once the news media started slicing and dicing it:
“For every ten people who sat through our proceedings, gavel to gavel, there would be ten thousand who would see nothing but a 30 second takeout from one of the proceedings” he said, “which I guarantee you would not be representative of what we do.” Scalia added that such soundbites would leave viewers with “a misimpression” of Supreme Court operations.
That’s a fair concern, and it’s even more likely to be a problem with a session that goes almost six times longer than a normal round of oral arguments. But this is an extraordinary case, one that could transform our Republic from a federalist system with limits on the national legislature to one in which Washington can regulate every single aspect of our lives. A public record of these arguments seems in order, given the stakes involved.