Are "repeal and replace" and "reform" of ObamaCare interchangeable?

Ramesh is kind enough to cite a recent piece of mine for Forbes, describing it as a continuation of my “lonely campaign to get conservatives to drop the idea of ‘repealing and replacing’ Obamacare and instead to embrace reforming it.” But it’s only lonely if by lonely he means “shared by a large plurality of the electorate.”

Let me cite the data. A Pew Research poll asked whether or not politicians should “make the law work as well as possible,” or “make it fail.” The “work” side won 30–19 overall, and 36–19 among independents. (“Make it fail” won among Republicans, but only by three points: 43–40.)

Now, the Pew poll used skewed language. So let’s look at some other surveys. A poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation offered four options: “keep the law as is,” “keep the law in place and work to improve it,” “repeal the law and replace it with a Republican-proposed alternative,” and “repeal the law and not replace it.” 49 percent of respondents chose “work to improve,” with only 29 percent choosing repeal (18 percent) or repeal-and-replace (11 percent). Independents reflected the overall numbers, with 44 percent choosing “work to improve,” with 32 percent supporting repeal (23 percent repeal and 9 percent repeal-and-replace).

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