A striking new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal finds that for the first time since 2009 or so, the American public suddenly thinks the Affordable Care Act was a “good idea.”
There is something a little perverse about this, but it also fits with longstanding research indicating that American public opinion operates like a thermostat: When Democrats are in the White House it shifts to the right, while when Republicans win it shifts to the left. Note that the other time the ACA got close to being above-water in the polls was early 2011, right after Republicans swept to a majority in the House.
An additional nuance here is that a significance slice of opinion on the American left has always regarded Obamacare as falling enormously short of their aspiration of a universal government-provided health insurance program. How exactly they feel like framing that sentiment tends to vary according to circumstances. But with Trump in office, congressional Republicans moving to strip tens of millions of people of their insurance, and Bernie Sanders vocally arguing against repeal, the circumstances are perfect for people on the left to start admiring the law.