May 4, 2013
The Kaiser Family Foundation released its latest monthly update on attitudes toward Obamacare and found support for the law at its lowest point since passage in 2010. Thirty-five percent in the April poll viewed the law favorably and 40% unfavorably. As discussion heats up about the bill’s costs and implementation, more people have moved into the “don’t know” column, now also at a high point, 24%, on this question in Kaiser’s polling.
Fox News updated its trend on President Obama’s handling of health care and 43% of the registered voters in the poll approved and 53% disapproved. During the fall campaign, the president’s marks on handling the issue were better. In the new poll, 41% said they would vote to keep the law, while 54% said they would vote to repeal it.
via The polls this week: Obamacare, the sequester, and immigration | AEIdeas.
April 26, 2013
As Obamacare was winding its way through the Senate in 2009, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) slipped in an amendment requiring that members of Congress, and their staff, enroll in Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. The idea was simple: that if Congress was going to impose Obamacare upon the country, it should have to experience what it is imposing firsthand. But now, word comes that Congress is quietly seeking to rescind that provision of the law, because members fear that staffers who face higher insurance costs will leave the Hill. The news has sparked outrage from the right and left. Here’s the back story, and why this debate is crucial to the future of market-based health reform.
via Congress, Fearing ‘Brain Drain,’ Seeks to Opt Out of Participating in Obamacare’s Exchanges – Forbes.
April 25, 2013
The purpose of Obamacare is to hide how much we are helping people, and which people are receiving that help. Its supporters trade efficiency for murkiness because they realize that, while the public is perfectly willing to help the elderly and people who suffer illness through no fault of their own, we are more ambivalent about paying for those who have ruined their health with bad habits and risky lifestyles. Rather than having an honest discussion about these issues, the Democrats have decided to take advantage of Americans’ kindness, obscuring the fruit of our charity so that bureaucratic waste and progressive social engineering projects can remain safely hidden from the public eye.
via Why Americans will never love Obamacare | The Daily Caller.
April 10, 2013
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, one of the towering architects of Obamacare, on Tuesday openly criticized program managers for not moving quickly enough to build the system, warning that if it gets off to a bumpy start it will just get worse.
Decrying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as way too complex, he warned the acting Medicare director that Obamacare is “so complicated and if it isn’t done right the first time, it will just simply get worse.”
The retiring senator also told Marilyn Tavenner at her Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that Obamacare rivals tax reform in its capacity to confuse Americans.
via Obamacare architect Rockefeller: It’s ‘beyond comprehension’ | WashingtonExaminer.com.
March 14, 2013
After the 2016 questions, the Quinnipiac pollsters ask Pennsylvania voters what they think of Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act.
A total of 53 percent of Pennsylvania voters “somewhat disapprove” or “strongly disapprove” of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, while 37 percent “strongly approve” or “somewhat approve.”
ACA will hurt them personally 40 percent of voters say, while 13 percent say it will help and 42 percent say it will have no effect. There is little difference among income groups.
via Obamacare, a Bigger Worry Than the Sequester – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online.
March 8, 2013
The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) signature accomplishment was the creation of a statutory right to health care for the uninsured. The ambition and the degree of societal and political debate leading up to the Act’s passage suggests it is a “superstatute,” a rare breed of statute that creates rights and institutions typically thought to be the province of constitutions. Nevertheless, the ACA’s right to health care is fragile and risks falling short of becoming a durable right. The ACA may end up as a “quasi-superstatute,” a statute that aspires but fails to become a superstatute through a failure of political and public entrenchment. The problem is that the right to health care is to be delivered largely through changes to the private health insurance market, requiring the cooperation of reluctant states, industry, and individuals. The ACA’s right to health care faces significant political and market challenges that threaten to weaken its benefits in the public’s mind. This vulnerability is concentrated early in its lifespan, and if it survives these early years, the endowment effect may strengthen the right’s durability as its benefits take hold. The risk of becoming a “quasi-superstatute” highlights the importance of structuring such reforms to achieve durability.
via Developing a Durable Right to Health Care by Erin Brown :: SSRN.
March 5, 2013
Hundreds of activists and uninsured Texans plan to rally at the steps of the Capitol here Tuesday, increasing the pressure on Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican leaders to switch their stance on expanding Medicaid, a major provision of President Obama’s health care overhaul.
via Texans Rebut Gov. Rick Perry After Rejection of Medicaid Expansion – NYTimes.com.
March 3, 2013
Democratic support for President Obama’s healthcare law has dropped 15 points since November, contributing to a rise in negative attitudes toward the reform, according to a new poll.
Opponents of the Affordable Care Act currently outnumber supporters (42 percent to 36), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest tracking survey. Public opinion has switched back and forth since the law passed in 2010, and in November, support for the law was 4 percent higher than opposition (43 percent to 39).
Kaiser attributed the marked slide in support among Democrats to a “post-presidential election fade.” In November, 72 percent of that group expressed support for the law, compared with 57 percent who feel favorably toward it now.
via Poll: Democratic Support for Obamacare Falls 15 Points – Daniel Doherty.
February 27, 2013
In 2012 the National Public Radio program Planet Money created a fake presidential platform based on the issues a small sample of economists, with different political views, agreed upon. In focus groups this platform found no support among the public at large. Is this just a feature of the particular selection made by NPR or is it a generalizable feature? If so, is this because ordinary people have not being trained in economics or because economists lack common sense or miss important political considerations?
In this article we try to address these questions. To do so we compare the answers to a common set of policy questions provided by the Economic Expert Panel at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (EEP) with those provided by the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index (FTI), which quarterly interviews a representative sample of the U.S. population. Economists’ opinions differ greatly from those of other ordinary Americans: On average the percentage of agreement with a statement differs 35 percentage points between the two groups. This difference does not seem to be driven by a different composition of the sample.
We also find a large variation in the difference between the two samples across questions. The topics most covered in the economic literature, where economists agree among themselves the most, are also the topics in which their opinions are most distant from those of average Americans. This difference does not seem to be driven by knowledge, since informing people of the expert opinions does not have much impact on the responses of ordinary Americans. The explanation most consistent with our limited evidence is that people do not trust many of the implicit assumptions embedded into the economists’ answers and that economists give them for granted.
via Economic Experts vs. Average Americans by Paola Sapienza, Luigi Zingales :: SSRN.
February 27, 2013
The challenge to the Affordable Care Act was waged on two fronts. The first front was the constitutionalist front. Challengers claimed that it was unprecedented for Congress to compel people to engage in commerce, and purchase health insurance. However, the second front in this battle is much less appreciated. Underneath these constitutionalist positions were popular constitutionalist social movements.
This essay, part of a symposium issue of Public Affairs Quarterly, analyzes the movement through the lens of popular constitutionalism, from its conception, to its growth, to its strengthening counter-movement, and finally to its inevitable conclusion at the Supreme Court of the United States.
First, I explore notions of popular constitutionalism, and how the will of the people impacts how the courts construe our most fundamental laws. Second, I trace how the argument against the Affordable Care Act evolved from a simple idea to a popular constitutionalist movement, brewed by groups such as the Tea Party. Third, I discuss how a progressive countermovement formed to combat the challengers, and aimed to maintain the status quo of constitutional law. I conclude by considering how the courts received these competing social movements.
The dynamics of popular constitutionalism were fully unleashed in NIFB v. Sebelius. Not only was this case unprecedented, but the challenge to it was also unprecedented.
via Popular Constitutionalism and the Affordable Care Act by Josh Blackman :: SSRN.