The Republican line continues to be that the Affordable Care Act is wildly unpopular and Americans are dying to repeal it. (See Matthew Continetti's Weekly Standard editorial for a good sample of said agitprop.) The reality, while hardly encouraging for liberals, is still a lot better than that. The law may not be popular, but most of its provisions are. The claim that Democrats are uniformly running away from the law -- Continetti: "Practically the only Democrats who mention the law in campaign ads are those who brag about voting against it" -- is flatly untrue:
In a fight for his political life in Wisconsin, Sen. Russ Feingold went on the air last week with an advertisement that explicitly defends provisions in the bill and attacks his opponent, Republican Ron Johnson, for wanting to repeal it.
The ad portrays two Wisconsin residents telling Johnson: "Hands off my health care." Their message is that repealing the health-care law would, as another voter says, "put insurance companies back in control."
Feingold's is one of the more powerful ads about the bill, but his isn't the only one. In an ad that focuses on holding corporations accountable, Rep. Steve Israel of New York touts the bill for stopping insurance companies from denying coverage because of preexisting conditions. In Nevada, Rep. Dina Titus has a TV ad praising the same provision.
And in his effort to win back a traditionally Democratic congressional seat in New Orleans, state Rep. Cedric Richmond has made incumbent Republican Joseph Cao's vote against the health-care bill a central issue in the campaign.
And it remains true that Americans were turned off by the long, ungainly process, but very few hew to the right-wing repeal position:
This isn't to say that the Affordable Care Act is popular. But the public adamantly wanted health care reform, and the process during a terrible economy and fierce partisan opposition soured the public mood, but Americans still overwhelmingly oppose the GOP approach.