Poll: Obamacare Support Slumps to 35 Percent

Guy Benson

4/30/2013 5:32:00 PM - Guy Benson

And that's not even the worst of it.  Fully 42 percent (!) of Americans don't even realize that Obamacare is the law of the land.  Wishful thinking, or ignorance?  I'll go with door number two, which in this case probably doesn't have too many conservatives behind it.  Jim Geraghty snarks, "How do we know the media is downplaying the problems in implementing Obamacare? When 40 percent of Americans are unaware that the law is in place."  Nevertheless, approval of the president's top legislative "accomplishment" has plunged to its second-lowest point in three years.  Politico reports:

“Obamacare’s popularity has plunged steadily since November, according to monthly polling … by the Kaiser Family Foundation. … statistically tied with its lowest level of support since it passed in March 2010. … The poll … found that just 35 percent of Americans view Obamacare ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ favorably, down 8 points since Election Day. Only once since the law passed has support run lower … 34 percent …  in October 2011. … The poll found that with just a few months until the key coverage expansion provisions go into effect, more than 40 percent of Americans don’t know it’s on the books. About half of that group believes it’s been repealed by Congress or overturned by the Supreme Court, and the rest aren’t sure.”


Americans continue to support efforts to block and repeal the law:

In terms of the law’s political future, just over half of Americans (53 percent) continue to say that they approve of efforts by opponents to change or stop the law “so it has less impact on taxpayers, employers, and health care providers”, a view which theoretically encompasses a range of positions from hard-core repeal supporters to those who believe the law only needs minor tweaks. One in three (including more than half of Democrats) believe that the law’s opponents should accept that it is the law of the land and stop trying to block its implementation, down somewhat from January (33 percent now compared to 40 percent at the start of the year).

That's a 20-point spread.  We've spent quite a lot of time focusing on the law's "train wreck" implementation phase -- and so, apparently, have elected Democrats.  This is the third "panic!" story in the span of four days:

Democrats are fretting that Obamacare is going to crush their hopes of big gains in the midterm elections, just like it cost them the House in 2010. And as bad-news headlines and big-time dips in the polls pile up, the signs of anxiety are starting to show. On Monday night, South Carolina’s Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a favorite of the Democratic left, couldn't get away from the law fast enough, calling Obamacare “extremely problematic” — a quote that got wide play from GOP groups like the National Republican Senatorial Committee...All the panic forced President Barack Obama to rush to the law's defense, saying at a news conference Tuesday: “Even if we do everything perfectly, there'll still be, you know, glitches and bumps. … And that's pretty much true of every government program that's ever been set up.” Obama’s goal was to dismiss what he called “all the hue and cry and, you know, sky-is-falling predictions about this stuff.” Don't bet on that happening. Democrats have been fretting about the law since it passed, and they're not exactly falling in love with it now either.


Such are the consequences of cramming down an unwanted $2 trillion law that impacts every single American and one-sixth of the US economy.  Perhaps Democrats' fretting should have been more useful before they passed this monstrosity without garnering one Republican vote in either house of Congress.  I discussed Democrats' gnashing of teeth on CNBC last night, and ran into a flurry of "look over there!" distraction points from the liberal guest:


Note the serial goal-post shifting. During the healthcare debate, Obama promised

"If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”  

That's now morphed into, "hey, at least the overwhelming majority employers won't drop their coverage!"  But even that assertion is highly debatable -- check out these studies.  Regardless, "most" wasn't the promise.  The same applies to Igor's spin about widespread premium increases.  He hastens to point out that not all insurers are hiking premiums as much as others, and that government bureaucrats can veto "excessive" increases (a big government price control mechanism that has severely disrupted the insurance marketplace in states like Massachusetts).  But as I was about to say before I was interrupted, we weren't supposed to be debating how much premiums are increasing.  We're supposed to be singing hallelujahs because our premiums have gone down by $2,500.  As for the contention that Medicare costs are falling, Rep. Chaffetz's "alternate universe" dismissal seems appropriate.  Especially considering the big picture.  I'll leave you with three quotes (the third one's the punchline):

(1) Confusion, total confusion,” said Jan M. Hudson, a consumer advocate, describing state efforts to help more than a million Michigan residents get insurance under the law.

(2) State and local governments can expect ever-widening budget gaps through 2060, as rising healthcare costs for both citizens and public employees surpass recent improvements in their revenue, the Government Accountability Office said on Monday. Closing the gap may require drastic action.

(3) For the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have insurance, they're already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, "even if they don't know it yet."

Phil Klein explains why Obama's comments likely exacerbated, rather than relieved, Congressional Democrats' aforementioned heartburn.