In 2010, the health insurance legislation known as “Obamacare” was overwhelmingly unpopular. But Democrats in the White House and Congress pushed it through anyway, and then paid a severe price in the next elections. Today, the health care package known as “Trumpcare” is similarly unpopular, but the Republicans seem determined to pass legislation this summer, even at the risk of serious losses of their own in 2018 Congressional elections.
Does this mean the electorate is confused?—hating Obamacare, and then hating the most serious attempt to repeal and replace it? Actually, public reactions are sensible and consistent—what Americans hate is the whole idea of the federal government making sweeping, bureaucratic decisions, on something as personal and important as medical insurance.
If the GOP made clear that their proposals provide individuals with more choices, and give the states more discretion to shape their own policies, their reforms would win much broader popular support.