(CBS NEWS) -- A clear majority of Americans are opposed to the Republican-led effort to defund Obamacare, a new poll shows.
percent of Americans say they disapprove of the proposal to cut off
funding as a way to stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act,
according to a new survey from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
are clear partisan divides -- six in 10 Republicans say they approve of
the idea, while just 15 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of
independents support it.
The current effort to defund
Obamacare has driven a wedge in the GOP and ultimately would have little
impact on the implementation of the health law, but a passionate
contingent of Republicans has nevertheless kept the idea alive.
The initiative, led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would block any
government funding bill that includes funds for the implementation of
Obamacare. The idea would presumably give conservatives leverage on the
matter, since Congress needs to pass a government funding bill by Sept.
30 or risk letting parts of the government shut down. High-profile
conservatives like Lee and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have kept up the
campaign's momentum and plan to participate in a tea party "Exempt
America from Obamacare" rally in Washington next month.
The campaign, however, does not have enough Republican support in Congress to go anywhere, and several Republicans have dismissed it as a gimmick.
Conservatives like Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., explained their opposition
by pointing to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research
Service which explained that even if the government were shut down, most
of Obamacare would still get funding from multi-year budgets and
On Fox News earlier this week, Cruz said the campaign to defund Obamacare is gaining "real momentum" among conservative voters.
people fighting the hardest against defunding Obamacare are
Republicans," he lamented. "The Republicans are all shooting at those
who are trying to work with the grassroots... How do we win? First, we
get 41 Republicans in the Senate to stand together and 281 Republicans
in the House."
Cruz isn't the only one blaming his fellow
conservatives. Some tea party groups, inspired by conservative radio
personality Mark Levin, are reportedly threatening to start calling Obamacare "Boehnercare" if House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, does not voice his support for the defunding plan.
than calling it Obamacare, we should call it Boehnercare," Levin said
on his radio show last week. "So I think I'm going to call it
Boehnercare, if I can remember from time to time, certainly more often,
because Boehner won't even fight. Boehner, he's just--is the word
While the defunding effort has
caused controversy, the health care law itself is also unpopular. The
Kaiser poll found that just 37 percent of Americans have a favorable
view of Obamacare, while 42 percent have an unfavorable view.
many as 51 percent say they don't have enough information about it to
understand how it will impact them and their family, while as many as 44
percent either think the law has been repealed (8 percent), overturned
by the Supreme Court (5 percent) or are unsure whether it remains the
law (31 percent).
The nationwide poll, conducted August 13-19, surveyed 1,503 randomly selected adults and has a margin of error of three points.