President Obama delivered a speech in Dallas, Texas Wednesday evening to promote Obamacare, and while it may have seemed to some that Sen. Ted Cruz‘s briar patch might be hostile territory for the Affordable Care Act, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney begs to differ. During a gaggle with reporters on Air Force One, Carney touted results from a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll that he said shows, while Obamacare “is not particularly popular in that state, which may not come as a surprise given its status as a red state, in fact, many of the components of the Affordable Care Act are quite popular.”
Before taking any questions from reporters, Carney began by explaining that Texas Governor Rick Perry’s refusal to expand Medicare in the state will have consequences for Texans. “According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, if Texas decided to expand Medicaid, the state’s uninsured population would be reduced by over 50 percent by 2016, meaning an additional 1.2 million Texans would gain coverage,” Carney said. “In addition, Kaiser estimates that expanding Medicaid could save Texans $1.7 billion in costs incurred as a result of uncompensated care over the next 10 years.”
He then moved on to that UT/TT poll. “Two-thirds of voters support giving states the option to expand Medicaid programs for low-income, uninsured adults,” Carney said. “Three-quarters of Texans — Texas voters, rather — like the idea of tax credits for small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees. Nearly as many, 73 percent, support the creation of health care marketplaces where small businesses and people without health coverage can shop for it.”
“Prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage because of preexisting conditions has the support of 76 percent of registered Texas voters, and 61 percent, led by Democratic and independent voters, said they would support increasing the Medicare payroll tax on upper-income Americans,” Carney continued.
“A slight majority of Republicans support allowing children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, but independents are more strongly in favor, and Democrats overwhelmingly support that provision,” he concluded.
The UT/TT poll mirrors other poll results that have consistently shown that, despite the media narrative that the Affordable Care Act is “unpopular,” almost every part of the Affordable Care Act is wildly popular, except for the individual mandate. In fact, the individual mandate is the only part of Obamacare that more Texans opposed than supported. Even the employer mandate enjoys 49% support, versus 43% opposition. As usual, though, 78% support eliminating preexisting condition discrimination, which cannot occur without an individual mandate. A full 67% support the law’s Medicaid expansion.
Perhaps most remarkably, those numbers have remained strong despite home-state Senator Ted Cruz’s crusade against the law, and weeks of intensely negative coverage of its launch.
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