Americans may be divided on the Affordable Care Act (ACA, colloquially known as "ObamaCare"), but it seems they aren't on board with shutting down the U.S. government to prevent its implementation.
A new Quinnipiac poll out today shows that 72% of American voters oppose shutting down the government as a tactic to block the ACA. 64% also oppose using debt ceiling legislation to block implementation of the new healthcare initiative, and a majority (58%) even oppose cutting funding for the ACA as a way to prevent it. This is despite the fact that 47% of those same Americans polled are opposed to the ACA, with only 45% in favor of it.
Not even a majority of Republicans support the move, with only 49% of those Republicans polled in favor of the shutdown. What could be worse for the GOP is that a full 74% of independents are opposed to the government shutdown. The Quinnipiac poll found that disapproval for Republicans in Congress is now at 74%, with disapproval for Congressional Democrats now sitting at 60%.
"Americans are certainly not in love with Obamacare, but they reject decisively the claim by Congressional Republicans that it is so bad that it's worth closing down the government to stop it," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The U.S. government is currently in the process of shutting down non-essential services following congress' failure to pass a continuing resolution to provide funding until a budget can be ironed out. The legislation is crucial to the U.S. government's functionality, and House Republicans this week took the bill hostage, refusing to vote on a version of the bill that doesn't contain amendments delaying the ACA. The ACA is not directly related to the funding bill, and will be implemented despite the government shutdown.
Though the Senate-approved version of the bill would likely pass the house, Republican House leadership has prevented such a vote, instead opting to send the Senate its own versions of the continuing resolution with an amendment to delay the ACA attached. The Democrat-controlled Senate has consistently rejected these versions of the bill.