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What Is Normal?

WaPo Poll: Obamacare Approval Ties All-Time Low

First, a shameless plug: Please buy Mary Katharine and my new book, End of Discussion, on sale everywhere tomorrow. And now, another blow to the "it's working" cult, via the
Washington Post:

Support for keeping the subsidies comes despite the law polling as poorly as ever. The survey finds opinion on the health-care law among the worst in Post-ABC polling; 54 percent oppose, up six percentage points from a year ago. Support ties the record low of 39 percent, which was last hit in April 2012...The disconnect in the new poll -- that a majority opposes the law, while a nearly equal majority does not want the Supreme Court to rule against it -- is driven by political independents as well as Republicans. Independents oppose the law 56 percent to 35 percent. But they also want a ruling in favor of subsidies by almost exactly the same margin.

Support for the law is underwater by 15 points, although Republicans are no doubt eyeing the numbers on the forthcoming subsidies case before the Supreme Court with some concern.  The "loophole" that may get Obamacare's federal subsidies invalidated is solely and totally Democrats' fault, but the messaging war resulting from a correct SCOTUS ruling won't be easy for the GOP to win.  I've discussed those political dynamics here.  Nevertheless, lefties have been stomping their feet insisting that the law is working welldefying critics' predictions, making consumers "extremely satisfied
," and performing beyond their wildest dreams.  The American people do not agree.  Indeed, they've never agreed.  Here's CNN:

In the CNN/ORC poll, 43% of Americans say they favor the law overall, matching its previous high for support last reached in May 2013. But the law remains broadly unpopular, with 55% opposed to it. Few say they would describe the law as a success thus far, only 11% say so in the poll, while 35% say it has been a failure and 53% say it's too soon to make a judgment. That split is similar to Americans' assessment of the law last year around this time…

This data could conceivably be uglier, considering that the media hasn't reported too heavily on the substantial, double-digit 2016 rate hikes insurers are requesting across the country.   This sticker shock will hit in an election year:

Hold onto your wallets ... many insurers want to substantially hike rates on Obamacare policies for 2016. Many are proposing double-digit premium increases for individual policies, with some companies looking to boost rates more than 60%, according to a list posted Monday by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In Florida, for instance, United Healthcare (UNH) wants to raise the rates of plans sold on the Obamacare exchange by an average of 18%. Individual policies available outside the exchange through United Healthcare or through a broker would go up by 31%, on average, with hikes as high as 60% for certain plans in certain locations. In Texas, insurer Scott & White is looking for a 32% increase for exchange-based plans, while Humana (HUM) is asking for an average 30% boost for its exclusive provider organization policies, which generally cover only in-network services. Insurers say they want to hike rates because enrollees are going to the doctor, getting lab work and filling prescriptions more than they had originally anticipated...Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina cited hospital in-patient care, particularly cancer and heart conditions, emergency room visits and specialty drugs as major contributors to its proposed 26% hike.

I'll leave you -- as I often do on the subject of Obamacare -- with this.  Their words, not ours:

Actually, one more, since this mess was her plan before Obama flip-flopped and embraced it:

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