KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Public Largely Blames GOP For Shutdown While Health Law Grows More Popular, Poll Shows

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds sharp drop in support for a Republic position on government shutdown and health law. Meanwhile, The New York Times explores how some of the most vocal elements of the conservative wing of the GOP are splintering over the House strategy to tie defunding of the health law to the federal budget.

The Wall Street Journal: Poll Finds GOP Blamed More For Shutdown
At a time of weak confidence in the economic recovery, the government impasse in Washington has delivered an unusually sharp blow to public faith in the elected leaders and their stewardship over the economy, the poll found. Participants in the poll gave the Republican Party overall its lowest marks in the history of Journal polling, which goes back to 1989: More than twice as many hold a negative view of the GOP as a positive one. By contrast, the number of Americans viewing the Democratic Party positively or negatively was nearly equal, at about 40% (King, 10/10).

NBC News: NBC/WSJ Poll: Shutdown Debate Damages GOP
Yet what is perhaps even more worrisome for the GOP is the “boomerang” effect: As the party has used the shutdown and fiscal fight to campaign against the nation’s health-care law and for limited government, the poll shows those efforts have backfired. For one thing, the health-care law has become more popular since the shutdown began. Thirty-eight percent see the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) as a good idea, versus 43 percent who see it as a bad idea – up from 31 percent good idea, 44 percent bad idea last month. In addition, 50 percent say they oppose totally eliminating funding for the law, even if it that means a partial shutdown of the government. That's up from 46 percent who said they opposed that move in a Sept. 2013 CNBC poll (Murray, 10/10).

The Hill: Poll: ObamaCare Gains Popularity Amid Shutdown
President Obama's healthcare law has gained popularity as Republicans have looked to strip and defund parts of it, leading to a government shutdown, according to a NBC-Wall Street Journal poll. The survey released Thursday found 38 percent of people believe ObamaCare is a good idea, a 7-point jump since last month. That includes 31 percent of people who feel strongly about their views (Trujillo, 10/10).

The New York Times: Kochs And Other Conservatives Split Over Strategy On Health Law
Under attack for the government shutdown, some of the most vocal elements of the conservative wing of the Republican Party are publicly splintering, a sign of growing concerns among even hard-core conservatives that the defeat-health-care-at-any-cost strategy may have backfired (Lipton and Confessore, 10/10).

In other political news on the health law --

CNN: Ted Cruz Says He's For Health Care Reform, Just Not Obamacare
Sen. Ted Cruz really does want healthcare reform, just not Obamacare, the Texas Republican said Thursday night. The conservative firebrand and self-made arch-foe of the Affordable Care Act was on CNN’s "Crossfire" to defend the tactics he proposed that helped drive the United States to a government shutdown. And those tactics seem to be working by Cruz's standards (Koenig, 10/10).

Bloomberg: Obamacare Foes Using Shutdown Echo South's Nullifiers
The Tea Party-inspired drive to derail Obamacare is anchored in a place where opposition to the federal government is as old as the nation: the American South. The current fight, a budget standoff that threatens the creditworthiness of the U.S, has vestiges of the secession from the union that started in South Carolina and led to the Civil War (Tackett, 10/11).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.