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For first time since 2012 majority of Americans support Affordable Care Act, says Kaiser poll

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According to a new poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more Americans like President Barack Obama‘s signature healthcare legislation than dislike it.

By a narrow margin — 43 percent in favor versus 42 against, with the margin undecided or unsure — a plurality of U.S. citizens say they view the law favorably for the first time in three years, when Obama’s own favorability was cresting.

The poll’s findings had a distinctively partisan tinge. Among respondents saying they were in favor of so-called Obamacare, 70 percent identified as Democrats, whereas only 25 percent of self-identified Republicans indicated their support of the law.

The shift comes as the news regarding the ACA grows more positive.

National Republicans  — particularly the strident House GOP majority, which has voted to repeal the law dozens of times — seem to be shifting away from their 2012 and 2014 campaign cycle line of “repealing and replacing” the ACA.

“I don’t fall into the camp that thinks it’s particularly helpful to send something up to be vetoed,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the House Budget Committee, recently told The Wall Street Journal. “You score a few political points, but against a president who’s never on the ballot again. Big deal.”

Cole’s comments seem to jive with GOP strategy more broadly, as moves to “strike a balance” by way of bipartisan reforms to aspects like Medicaid and Medicare programs, which according to many lawmakers are actuarially unsound.

Other national pollsters, including many who look at multiple surveys on the issue in the aggregate, still see Obamacare as underwater in terms of its national support. But there’s little doubt the trend line is moving in the president’s direction on one of the few big-ticket items he was able to secure with a large majority in both legislative chambers during his first term.

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