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Republicans vote to change Obamacare, just as it hits a milestone

Daily Ticker

More than seven million Americans signed up for health insurance by April 1, a milestone even the Obama Administration did not think was achievable a few weeks ago. The Affordable Care Act law, better known as Obamacare, requires that all Americans enroll in a healthcare plan or pay a financial penalty.

Related: Obamacare squeaks by with a passing grade—but could still fail

Even though the law was passed by Congress four years ago and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012, Republicans remain eager to repeal President Obama's signature domestic policy. GOP leaders are making the health care law the core argument in this year's midterm elections, putting Democrats who supported Obamacare on the defensive. Repealing Obamacare seems like a whimsical quest, since Democrats control the Senate and wouldn't go along, and Obama would veto any repeal that passed Congress anyway. Six efforts by Republican lawmakers to repeal Obamacare have failed.

A new effort to modify the ACA is more modest. A bill to change the definition of a full-time worker from 30 hours a week to 40 recently passed the House by a vote of  248-179. The bill is expected to fail in the  Senate, but it might get some support from Democrats eager to show their willingness to tweak Obamacare in response to business-owner concerns. That comes as support for Obamacare has been drifting upward, with 49% of Americans now saying they support it versus 48% who oppose it, according to a new ABC News-Washington Post poll.

Related: Obamacare working, despite “difficulties” and “polarized politics”: Alice Rivlin

"People have this knee-jerk anti-Obamacare reaction," says The Daily Ticker's Henry Blodget in the video above. "Obamacare is a step toward a more sensible healthcare system."

The best healthcare option would be "Medicare for all," he argues. But most Americans attack and protest any attempts to transform the nation into a single-payer healthcare system, Blodget adds, noting that every first-world country already offers this benefit.

Will the repeal of Obamacare be a winning strategy for Republicans in November? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

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