And a large plurality, if not majority like their private health insurance and don’t want it messed with. The ACA is not collapsing, in fact it is expanding, even here in bright red Utah, by popular vote. If passing the ACA was nearly impossible then, how much more difficult would it have been to abolish an entire industry? Impossible is the answer. Wasn’t even possible to corner the votes for a public option then, though now, now that people have seen that reform did not mean a government takeover, now that they have come to expect pre-existing condition coverage, expect no yearly or lifetime limits on coverage, not only is a public option on the table but Medicare/Medicaid expansion as well. The ACA was the biggest expansion of single payer insurance since LBJ passed Medicare/Medicaid in the mid ‘60s.
The GOP could only pass nominees on a simple majority because the Dems removed the filibuster on cabinet and judicial appointees. They passed the tax bill on a Senate exception, “reconcilliation” which can not be used on most legislation. Given the minority control locked into the Senate by the constitution (2 senators for each state, regardless of population) the filibuster is a crucial firewall preventing the repeal or privitization of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, the ACA, the Clean Air and Water Acts, and any number of other progressive laws and programs.
Popularity is hardly relevant, winning enough electoral votes is the ballgame. Maybe Bernie is the guy, maybe not. The fact is that whomever is elected to the office will need the support of significant numbers of moderate voters to pass anything of importance, and meanwhile holding the Oval is crucially important. Already the left’s bad habit of dividing itself has cost us Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Gorsuch and Cavanaugh; the entire right wing of the SCOTUS should have been appointed instead by Presidents Gore and Clinton. Imagine the difference if the Supreme Court was pro environment, pro worker, pro reproductive rights, anti dark election money, anti assault weapon, pro voter rights…we threw this ALL away with our political in-fighting and we won’t see it rectified for decades.