Another day, another brutal poll for President Obama, this time on healthcare. CNN's big takeaway is that voters would blame Republicans more than Obama for a government shutdown or a credit default crisis. To which I respond, what else is new? Plus, we'll address the substance of those results in a moment. But tucked away in the nationwide survey of American adults are several important findings:
(1) On all three issues tested, President Obama's job approval is significantly underwater (the economy 43/56 - deficits 36/61 - and healthcare 42/55).
(2) Obamacare's weak public support continues to erode Asked whether they support all or most of the law's provisions, or oppose all or most of the provisions. Here's how respondents broke down:
Support all: 6 percent (!)
Support most: 33 percent
Overall support: 39 percent
Oppose all: 20 percent
Oppose most: 37 perent
Overall opposition: 57 percent
That's an 18-point gap, with a solid majority opposed. Two years ago, the spread was only five points.
(3) Opposition outweighed support among the following groups, among many others: Women (41/56), young voters (46/49), low-income Americans (38/58), independents (31/64), moderates (42/54), and suburbanites (35/61).
(4) The only cohorts in the entire sample in which favorable reviews eclipsed negative ones were: Democrats (70/26), liberals (61/32), urbanites (51/44), and non-whites (51/44).
(5) On the blame game questions, Republicans are at a disadvantage. On a potential government shutdown, 51 percent of voters would finger the GOP, while 45 percent would blame Obama, or "both" sides. On a debt ceiling partial-default, 54 percent would fault Republicans, with just 40 percent blaming Obama or "both." Furthermore, a strong majority -- 62 percent -- of the public would consider a partial credit default over the debt ceiling either a "major problem" or a "crisis." The numbers are more forgiving on a government shutdown. By a slim margin (51/49), Americans actually believe a shutdown of "a few days" would produce only minor problems, or no problems at all, as opposed to "major" or "crisis"-level disruptions. If the standoff rolled into weeks, however, the numbers shift heavily toward the latter options. If the GOP chooses to dig in and fight one of these battles, they're in better shape if they choose the temporary budget expiration. They'd need to be united and on-message, and aware that the longer any potential shutdown drags on, the political inertia shifts behind the Democrats.
In any case, why have Americans soured on the "Affordable" Care Act even further? Perhaps the drumbeat of bad news regarding higher costs, security risks, dropped coverage, and logistical glitches have something to do with it. Speaking of which, here are three new additions. Price tag and taxes -- up:
Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office released its revised estimates of what Obamacare will cost, now that the Supreme Court has weighed in. As I read the report, it occurred to me to ask: how have the CBO’s estimates changed over time? It turns out that, even when you compare the years that are common to each CBO report, a clear trend emerges. Today, the CBO believes that Obamacare will spend more money, raise more tax revenue, and reduce the deficit less than the agency thought in 2010. And things could get worse.
Remember, the only way the CBO determined the law would "reduce deficits" in the first place was by scoring all the absurd double-counting and gimmicks Democrats packed into the legislative language in order to game the outcome. Next up, Oklahomans can get ready to pay more for their healthcare, thanks to Obamacare:
Prepare for big increases in health insurance costs. That's the message from insurance commissioner John Doak. He says some rates could increase by 100%. Commissioner Doak says the rate increase will impact those in the federal exchange program. So the increase in rates won't necessarily affect everyone. Commissioner Doak says he's done his research and information he has received from insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield and AETNA says rates will skyrocket. "Oklahomans are going to see an increase in the range of 30-100%. Georgia is going to see a 200% increase or higher," said Commissioner Doak. Doak points out that other states are seeing similar or even higher increases including Florida and Indiana. The insurance department's chief actuary says this confirms the obvious, insurers must increase premiums due to additional requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
"Confirms the obvious." Yup. And finally, if you're one of "thousands" of small business and self-employed workers in Tennessee who enjoy your current healthcare plan, you can't keep it:
The president, in 2009: "“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. 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.” False.
The Wisdom of Bastiat, as Revealed by Great Moments in Federal, State, and Local Government | Daniel J. Mitchell