SURVEY DOESN’T BODE WELL FOR OBAMACARE
Although Republicans have failed to overturn President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll shows they’re not the only ones who’d like to see the health care law repealed.
Public opinion for the health care exchanges at the center of the new bill has hit a new low while public opinion of the president’s handling of the situation has hit an all-time high.
The poll shows 53 percent of respondents disapprove of the health care law (the highest this number has been) while only 42 percent approve.
And when you break it down along the lines of “strongly approve” and “strongly disapprove,” the divide is even clearer: 41 percent of respondents say they “strongly disapprove” while only 26 percent say they “strongly approve.”
Also, per the survey, disapproval for the president’s handling of the bill has reached an all-time high of 53 percent.
Lastly, for the first time in polling data that spans nearly two decades, voters prefer Republicans in dealing with health care policy, 40 percent to 39 percent.
The bill’s unpopularity may be tied directly to confusion surrounding its many mandates.
For instance, out of the 19 percent who say they are uninsured, roughly four in 10 are aware they must sign up for health insurance in 2014.
And in the “young people” category, the group many believe is necessary for the law to succeed, only 56 percent are aware they’ll be penalized if they fail to sign up for health insurance.
The survey also found that in the states that have decided to default into the federal exchange, understanding of Obamacare is “notably lower” than in the states that have opted to set up their own exchanges.
“There has been a full-court press from Day One from the opposition to characterize and demonize the plan,” says Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution.
“The campaign against the law after it was enacted, the range of steps taken, the effort to delegitimize it — it is unprecedented. We’d probably have to go back to the nullification efforts of the Southern states in the pre-Civil War period to find anything of this intensity.”
Of course, opponents of the bill say it’s not GOP messaging that has made the bill unpopular — they say the bill itself is unpopular.
“This program is not ready for prime time,” says Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.).
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Featured image AP.