Dems hold advantage on healthcare, poll finds

 

More Americans say Democrats have the best plan for healthcare, according to a new poll, in an encouraging sign for the White House following the end of the open enrollment period for ObamaCare.

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Nearly a third of respondents to an online Reuters/Ipsos poll said they preferred the Democratic approach to healthcare, versus 18 percent who back Republican healthcare policies.

That represents both an increase in support for Democrats and a decline for Republicans from a similar poll taken two months prior. In February, just a quarter of respondents said the president’s party had the best plan.

Democrats were likely buoyed by the surprise late success of the ObamaCare exchanges, which were plagued in their early weeks by technical glitches that made purchasing insurance nearly impossible for many consumers. Despite the botched rollout, at least 7.5 million consumers selected plans through the federal exchanges — surpassing initial projections of how many people would enroll.

White House officials touted the news on social media.

Still, a fifth of respondents said they did not know which party had the better plan, and an equal number of respondents said neither party had the best ideas for reforming the American health system.

The poll comes as conservatives in the House are pressuring Republican leaders to coalesce around an ObamaCare alternative they can vote on before the August recess.

Republicans have gained political traction in their opposition to the bill, but the GOP has so far resisted offering a single alternative. Doing so could carry political risks for the party, since a concrete plan could provide Democrats political ammunition and distract from the politically advantageous focus on ObamaCare.