A lot of people want Obamacare overthrown. But if the Supreme Court gives them what they want, a new poll suggests, they may still be disappointed.
In a Reuters/Ipsos survey, 56% of respondents say they're against the health care law. But most also say they like at least some aspects of the law.
In the case of a Supreme Court blowout, they'd lose those features. But they may lose some of them even if, as now seems likely, the Court only overturns the mandate.
Few like being forced by the government to buy insurance, and 61% of these respondents oppose individual mandate.
But 72% "back requiring companies with more than 50 employees to provide insurance for their employees," says Reuters. 61% "are in favor of allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26." And 82% think "banning insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions," as the ACA does, is a good idea.
This tracks closely with the monthly polls Kaiser has been holding since the ACA began.
If SCOTUS just strikes the mandate, then these preferred features will in theory persist.
But those features have to be paid for. No longer forced to buy insurance, many citizens will stay out of the health insurance risk pool, driving up costs. The expense of administering the system will rise, as will insurance premiums, until, in the words of Salon's Steve Kornacki, the entire system quickly plunges into a "death spiral." Then even the preferred reforms will become too expensive to maintain -- by the government and by insurers -- and the other, more popular pieces of the plan will inevitably be legislated away.
That's American health care -- which is to say, a no-win situation.