The National Journal has a poll on the Court and the ACA. Predictably, a large majority (74 percent) wants to see the individual mandate struck down. That didn't surprise me, but this one did.
Do you think, respondents were asked, the Court should uphold or overturn "the ban on insurance companies denying coverage because of a person's medical history"?
Now, bear in mind, this is something that in our discourse we all supposedly agree on. "Everyone" wants people with cancer and diabetes and so forth to have coverage. Even Republicans agree on this. Some do. The harder-shell caucus wants to leave sick people uninsured, but a number of GOPers say they'd salvage that part of the ACA (although their plans for doing so are laughably unrealistic, as they surely know).
But anyway, if one aspect of that contentious bill had consensus, it was that aspect. So what did the people say?
Sigh--only 44 percent said keep the provision, while 51 percent said strike it down. Putting Obama and Romney and political advantage completely to the side, I find this depressing and sad on its own terms, and I can't quite believe it. A majority of Americans don't want people with life-threatening illnesses to have insurance? I have to think some people were confused by the wording.
Or maybe not. Maybe they think that a person who is diagnosed with diabetes has shown insufficient personal responsibility. But of course, that same person has a God-given right to all the 64-ounce sodas he can suck down!
There was one humane outcome in the poll, and it suggests that maybe a certain percentage of people were confused by the above wording. When asked what Congress ought to do if the Court strikes the law down, people were given three choices: write a new law that covers nearly all Americans in some different way; write a less ambitious law that covers some people; do nothing.
Happily, the first choice won, with 46 percent, while 18 percent said write a smaller law, and 28 percent said do nothing. Of course that won't mean anything in the real world, where, if the mandate is struck down, the law is probably dead.