Given this level of unhappiness, people will blame the Obama law for everything they hate about the health care system. Political opposition was fierce last November, and it could easily shape the 2012 election and lead to changes or repeal.
Over all, there is a strong likelihood that the current health care law will face an existential threat over the next five years. Each party should be preparing contingency plans.
When the crisis comes, Democrats will face an interesting choice — to patch the Obama system or try to replace it with something bigger. The administration may want a patch, but by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1, according to a CNN poll, Democratic voters would prefer a more ambitious law. Liberals could logically say that the mistake was trying to create a hybrid system, rather than moving straight to a single-payer one.
Republicans are going to have to move beyond their current “Repeal!” posture and cohere behind a positive alternative.
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