A new poll out today shows that Republicans support all the basic elements of Obamacare by wide majorities if it is simply labeled "Reagancare."
Pollsters at TDC Opinion Research created a hypothetical "conservative alternative" to Obamacare and asked a sample of 2,000 registered Republicans if they approved of the proposal.
"Republicans in the House have proposed a new universal health insurance program based on the ideas of Ronald Reagan," the poll asked, "This program - called Reagancare - mandates Americans take individual responsibility for their health by requiring them to purchase insurance from private companies.
"It also creates health exchanges where people can use the power of the free market to buy policies, and provides modest subsides to those who cannot afford to pay the full cost. Do you support Reagancare?"
Despite the details of "Reagancare" being identical to President Obama's Affordable Care Act, nearly two-thirds of Republicans said they supported it, with 27 percent opposed and 8 percent undecided.
Morning in America
The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, was passed by both houses of Congress in 2010 and its major provisions were upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. This week thousands of Americans have used the law to sign up for new health insurance policies.
Although Obamacare is the law of the land, Republicans in Congress decided to shut down the federal government Tuesday in an effort to stop its implementation. GOP leaders in the House are refusing to fund the federal government again unless President Obama agrees to scrap his healthcare reform -- an unlikely prospect.
But as today's poll shows, conservative opposition seems to be less about policy and more about blocking anything with President Obama's name on it. In follow up interviews, TDC pollsters spoke with Republicans who tried to explain the intellectual inconsistency of supporting "Reagancare."
"I don't know there's just something about the word Reagan that makes it work,"says Todd Johnson, an unemployed civil war reenactment specialist from Huntsville, Alabama. "It sounds lighter, more bright and optimistic. Obamacare has a very dark tone to it. It seems shadowy and ominous.
"I haven't had health insurance since 1998. And in my line of work, I could sure use some. But I think I'm gonna wait until Reagancare comes out. I just don't trust Obama."