Why Republicans lost the "pre-existing conditions" war

My colleague Emily Ekins has released new polling data showing that, when asked only about the benefits, voters support these rules 65 percent to 32 percent. But things change dramatically when voters consider the inevitable costs.

 If voters are told these rules lead to higher taxes — which they do — support falls to 51 percent, and opposition climbs to 44 percent.

 If told they drive up premiums — and they do — support falls to 49 percent, and opposition rises to 47 percent, a statistical dead heat.

If informed that they worsen the quality of care, such as by reducing access to tests and treatments for some patients — and they do — public support flips: Overall support falls to 44 percent, with 51 percent opposed. Driving that reversal is a nearly 30-point drop in support among Democrats alone.