As for the voters who believed all the misrepresentations, they were more credulous than stupid. Though it was obvious to millions of us that the ironically named Affordable Care Act was never going to increase access to care while also improving quality and decreasing cost, Obama’s supporters thought he was a “post-partisan” politician who could be trusted. They failed to subject his implausible claims to serious scrutiny and therefore missed what was wrong with the rosy picture he was painting. It is these voters who should be most insulted by Gruber’s remarks. It is their naïveté that the President and his co-conspirators cynically exploited.
As the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period begins, 37% of Americans say they approve of the law, one percentage point below the previous low in January. Fifty-six percent disapprove, the high in disapproval by one point.
Notably, voters say in hindsight that America would’ve been better off with Mitt Romney as president by a 45% to 38% margin. And by a 54% to 44% margin, they say that Obama isn’t even competent enough to run the U.S. government. The news might only get worse from here for Democrats and Obama supporters. To wit, his current trajectory is downward, not upward, given such conflagrating scandals as our hemorrhaging southern border and the IRS coverup. Accordingly, we likely have not reached the nadir for Obama and Democrats generally.
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest poll on public opinion of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has found the law is more unpopular with Americans than ever before. Kaiser found in its July survey that 53 percent of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of the law, with just 37 percent saying they have a favorable opinion. That’s among the lowest favorability rating Obamacare has ever received, and it’s the highest unfavorability rating since Kaiser first began its monthly poll of Obamacare in April 2010.
First Impressions: Geographic Variation in Media Messages during the First Phase of ACA ImplementationJuly 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.
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…
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.”