Poll: Uninsured Turn Against Obamacare
by John Sexton 30 Jan 2014, 4:03 PM PDT
The Kaiser Family Foundation has been tracking the popularity of Obamacare among the uninsured since the bill became law in 2010. Today Kaiser Health News reveals the latest poll numbers which show a dramatic turn against the law. Uninsured Americans now say they have an unfavorable view of the law by a 2:1 margin.
The new polling shows 47 percent have an unfavorable view compared to 24 percent who have a favorable view. Kaiser adds "These negative views have increased since December, when 43 percent of the uninsured panned the law and 36 percent liked it."
Kaiser did offer this caveat about the significance of the poll:
The pollsters surmised these views did not reflect actual experiences with the new marketplaces that began operation on Jan. 1, because only a small portion of those eligible has enrolled in them so far. The poll also noted that twice as many people said they had seen news stories about people being harmed by the law as had seen stories about people being helped.
In other words, these perceptions are probably based on the media as much as personal experience. That leaves open the possibility that polling will improve as more people come face to face with the law.
Two points about this. First, as noted above, Kaiser has been polling on the law's popularity since 2010. Obviously none of the people polled back when the law was more popular had any experience with the law either. The poll itself was always a popularity contest based on public perception. If anything the current response is at least based on some real elements of the law which have been in the news (the failed website, rate shock, etc.) rather than the sometimes empty political promises about what the law will be.
Second, while it's possible that one day Americans will warm to the law that day may not be right around the corner. This local news report from WTAE Pittsburgh (published yesterday) shows how real people react when their small business plans are replaced with Obamacare approved plans. None of them are happy with the shift and one is brought to the point of tears.