March 2, 2013
ObamaCare has always struggled in the court of popular opinion, and two new polls highlight the public’s continued lack of support for the law. Indeed, after a brief post-election rise in support, public opposition to ObamaCare is on the rise again.
February’s Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll puts opposition to the law at 42 percent and support at 36 percent; in Kaiser’s November poll, 43 percent said they supported the law and 39 percent opposed it.
A newly released Reason-Rupe poll offers some confirmation that more Americans hold negative views of the law. Asked an open-ended question about what comes to mind when they hear the term “ObamaCare,” 48 percent gave a negative response of some sort. At 22 percent, the largest single response was a generalized comment that the law is a bad thing.
Overall, the poll shows pessimism about the law. Asked about the law’s impact on the country, meanwhile, 37 percent responded that ObamaCare made the nation worse off, compared to 31 percent who said it made the country better off. Another 24 percent said it made no difference, which suggests a large strain of indifference in addition to the positive and negative reactions.
Since the law passed, Democrats have (not surprisingly) tended to be much more supportive of the law than Republicans. That’s still true, but Kaiser’s poll finds that Democratic support has dropped substantially since last year’s presidential election, from 72 percent in November to 57 percent in the February month’s poll. That’s the second weakest level of support Kaiser has found amongst Democrats since it began the monthly tracking poll in April 2010.
Dems thought it would become popular once the legislative fight was over. That turned out not to be the case.