Democrats have been eagerly awaiting a debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act. And they have good reason:
Ahead of a vote on repeal in the GOP-led House this week, strong opposition to the law stands at 30 percent, close to the lowest level registered in AP-GfK surveys dating to September 2009.
The nation is divided over the law, but the strength and intensity of the opposition appear diminished. The law expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured, and would require, for the first time, that most people in the United States carry health insurance.
The poll finds that 40 percent of those surveyed said they support the law, while 41 percent oppose it. Just after the November congressional elections, opposition stood at 47 percent and support was 38 percent.
As for repeal, only about one in four say they want to do away with the law completely. Among Republicans support for repeal has dropped sharply, from 61 percent after the elections to 49 percent now.
Also, 43 percent say they want the law changed so it does more to re-engineer the health care system. Fewer than one in five say it should be left as it is.
The old health care status quo was always politically untouchable, and more people want the law expanded than want it repealed. The single biggest problem the Affordable Care Act had was the long, ungainly process of getting it through Congress. That is all done. Now it's Republicans who have to defend their health care vision.