Despite the law's unpopularity, a handful of unexpected allies are moving the bill's implementation forward—even if that means clashing with their own party.
Just months before Obamacare gets its full roll-out treatment, 49% of Americans say the law is a bad idea, according to a new NBC News/ It’s the highest level of unpopularity the law has seen since the poll began surveying Americans’ view on health care reform four years ago.
Just 37% of Americans said they supported the bill.
Overall, more Americans than ever before, 38%, believe they and their families will be worse off under the bill, but opinions on the law continues to align with political views: Republicans believe they’ll be worse off under the law by far wider margins than Democrats.
Yet Obamacare has found a handful of unexpected allies: GOP governors.
A handful of prominent Republicans, like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott, endorsed the expansion of Medicaid, earning ire from their own parties.
As Obamacare’s popularity has fallen, the GOP’s own internal battles over implementation has grown.
The law’s latest ally is the same Republican governor who sued to topple Obamacare: Jan Brewer.
Now she’s so determined for the state’s House to pass the Medicaid expansion (and allow the state to accept the federal funds the bill promises), she’s vowed to veto all legislation that reaches her desk until the Republican legislature approves the bill and it appears to be working: Republican leadership has scheduled a vote for next week, according to reports.
“We were all so adamant that we didn’t like Obamacare. We fought tooth and nail. But there comes a time, and you have to look at the reality. You have to do the math,” Brewer told Politico.
“It’s an ideological principle piece to us on the conservative side,” Arizona Rep. David Gowan, the state’s House majority leader, told the Associated Press. “We don’t believe in the expansion of Medicaid itself—it’s within the process of mandating health care. We don’t believe it’s the government’s duty to do that. It should be open for people to go get their health care.”
A.J. LaFaro, the Republican Committee Chair of Maricopa, the county that includes Phoenix, voiced a farther right opposition, slamming Brewer as a “rogue governor” and condemning his colleagues for passing the Medicaid expansion in the Senate: “Their egregious actions will have serious consequences. Their political careers are all but over and their days numbered.”
But Brewer is holding strong: “I did not make this decision lightly,” she told Politico. “It’s not only a mathematical issue, but it’s a moral issue.”