First Impressions: Geographic Variation in Media Messages during the First Phase of ACA Implementation

July 21, 2014

Many Americans will learn about the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ACA through the mass media. We examined geographic variation in the volume and content of mass media during the initial two-week rollout of the new health insurance marketplaces in October 2013 across 210 US media markets, using data from the Wesleyan Media Project. We found substantial geographic variation in the volume and tone of insurance product advertisements, political advertisements, and news coverage of the ACA marketplaces. News coverage of the ACA airing in media markets located in states operating federal or partnership marketplaces was more negative than coverage airing in markets located in states running their own marketplaces. Intrastate variation in media volume and content was also substantial and appears distinguishable from the local political climate. Variation in exposure to media messages likely affects public sentiment regarding the ACA and could contribute to geographic differences in insurance enrollment and public perceptions of US health care options. Researchers and policy makers evaluating the implementation of the ACA — and insurance enrollment in the marketplaces in particular — should consider addressing media influences.Freely available online through the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law open access option.

via First Impressions: Geographic Variation in Media Messages during the First Phase of ACA Implementation.

Why Obamacare is still not popular | AEIdeas

July 17, 2014

Despite hitting its marks for sign-ups, Obamacare is more unpopular than ever. A Fox News poll last month found that 55% of Americans “wish it had never passed,” while only 38% supported the law.How can that be? Democrats were sure that once they got past the roll-out fiasco and hit their sign-up goals, popular opinion would stabilize.

Politico reports that, despite 357,000 sign-ups in North Carolina, Obamacare “remains a major liability for Sen. Kay Hagan, who faces one of the toughest election races for any Senate Democrat this year.” How can it be that so many North Carolinians have signed-up for Obamacare but still oppose it?

The individual mandate, and the threat of a penalty, drove many sign-ups. A polling report by Perry Undem, an opinion research firm that specializes in health care, found that 40 percent of people in one focus group say they might not have signed up without the mandate…

via Why Obamacare is still not popular | AEIdeas.

The GOP’s New Obamacare Individual Mandate Attack Might Work – US News

June 19, 2014

Of course, the Republicans’ language is unlikely to become law, thanks to the Democrats’ fervent fidelity to their hard-won health care handiwork. But the debate over a delay should, if anything, help the GOP heading into this year’s midterm elections. The party is already expected to do well. Simply by focusing its fire on the mandate, the GOP can refocus the larger health care debate around it, and thus elevate its importance in the campaign.That’s smart politics. Health care is now firmly at the top of voter’s minds, according to research by The Polling Company for FreedomWorks. Full disclosure: I helped conduct this research. Voters usually name “health care” as one of their “top 10” issues. But right now it’s one of the “top three,” along with “jobs / economy” and “government spending.” An unpublished January poll by Heart-Mind Strategies for the Heritage Foundation is even more striking, finding health care to be in the “top one” – that’s right, the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds.It gets better. The Polling Company research finds a solid majority of voters in every category – including the law’s supporters – support a delay of the whole law, not just the mandate. Sixty percent say they favor a delay “to make sure the law is fair and workable for everyone.”

via The GOP’s New Obamacare Individual Mandate Attack Might Work – US News.

Obamacare vs. Women’s Choices

June 12, 2014

a majority of women still oppose Obamacare. Even the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tends to find results more favorable to Obamacare than other pollsters, has found that more women disapprove than approve of the law.

via Obamacare vs. Women’s Choices.

Michael Medved: Reconsidering the 2016 Voter Calculus –

May 27, 2014

On Wednesday last week at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Sen. Jay Rockefeller suggested that doubts about the Affordable Care Act stemmed from hostility to President Obama “maybe because he’s of the wrong color.” The West Virginia Democratic was recycling a standard line of his party and their allies in the commentariat—a focus on racism, and not on failed policies and performance, as explanation for Mr. Obama’s unimpressive approval ratings. In the campaign summer of 2012, another challenging moment for the president, Chris Matthews enthused that Mr. Obama represented “the perfect American” and could only conclude that Republicans opposed him because “there’s an ethnic piece to this.”

This focus reflects an absurdly inaccurate reading of public opinion that could prove disastrous to Democrats in 2016 and beyond: it’s actually disproportionate minority support, not disproportionate white opposition, that most significantly characterizes Barack Obama’s political career. For those who blame white racism for disillusionment with Barack Obama, exit polls reveal an inconvenient truth: No Democratic nominee since the Ford-Carter election of 1976 got a higher percentage of white voters than did Mr. Obama in 2008.

via Michael Medved: Reconsidering the 2016 Voter Calculus –

Two Charts Illustrate The Difficulty Of Ascribing ObamaCare’s Unpopularity To Racism

May 23, 2014

Progressives and Democrats are no doubt miffed by the ongoing public opposition to their most coveted prize. To ascribe that opposition to racism, however, is itself a form of prejudice.

A charitable, open-minded adult might respond to the public’s rejection of his ideas by re-evaluating them, rather than by taking the self-soothing route of smearing his detractors with charges of racism or guilt by association. Racists aren’t the only people who need to reconsider their priors.

via Two Charts Illustrate The Difficulty Of Ascribing ObamaCare's Unpopularity To Racism.

For 70 years, most Americans have supported single-payer government-run health insurance? | PolitiFact Wisconsin

May 14, 2014

Nader said a majority of Americans “since Harry Truman days” support single-payer health insurance, or “full Medicare for all.”While there are individual poll results dating back to 1945 that indicate majority support for single-payer, overall the results are mixed, at best. In fact, one review of more than 100 polls over 50 years found that most people opposed single-payer.We rate the claim False.

via For 70 years, most Americans have supported single-payer government-run health insurance? | PolitiFact Wisconsin.

New Pew Poll: Opposition to Obamacare at All-Time High | The Weekly Standard

May 5, 2014

The latest USA Today/Pew survey shows Obamacare polling as poorly as it ever has:

Views of ACA Little Changed. As other recent national polls have shown, including the April health care tracking survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the recent surge in signups for the new health care exchanges has had little impact on public opinion about the Affordable Care Act. In fact, the share disapproving of the law (55%) is as high as it ever has been in the four-year history of the law. Just 41% approve of the 2010 health care law.

Back in October, before the national health care law was implemented and during t

via New Pew Poll: Opposition to Obamacare at All-Time High | The Weekly Standard.

GOP Has Intensity Edge For Midterm Elections: IBD/TIPP Poll –

May 3, 2014

ObamaCare support, for example, increased somewhat in May, after Obama and numerous press reports hailed the 8 million exchange sign-ups as a big victory.

Just 47% say they oppose the law, down from 51% in April and 55% in January. An equal 47% back the law, up from 37% in January.

And support for repeal ticked down to 44% from 48% in January. Fewer than half of independents now want the law repealed, compared with 54% in January. Even among Republicans, support for repeal dropped from 84% in January to 79% in May.

via GOP Has Intensity Edge For Midterm Elections: IBD/TIPP Poll –

Americans Remain Negative Toward Healthcare Law

April 11, 2014

With the open enrollment period for obtaining health insurance through a federal government exchange now over, Americans’ views on the broader healthcare law remain more negative than positive. Currently, 43% approve and 54% disapprove of the law, commonly known as “Obamacare.” The approval figure is a bit higher than Gallup’s estimates since last November, but disapproval is essentially unchanged.

via Americans Remain Negative Toward Healthcare Law.


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