Poll: ObamaCare Starts "Working", Now More Unpopular Than Ever

Poll: ObamaCare Starts "Working", Now More Unpopular Than Ever

August 1, 2014

"This isn’t the latest glitch. This is ObamaCare finally getting out of its own way and proceeding to wreak its designed havoc on Americans’ healthcare with higher costs and diminished choice.”

Last week, the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll for July found that the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, is more unpopular than ever before with the American people. The poll is an ongoing project by the healthcare focused think tank The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is generally considered to be one of the best gauges of public opinion on ObamaCare.

The poll shows that a record 53 percent of Americans hold a negative opinion of ObamaCare. This is a staggering eight-point spike in the number of Americans with an unfavorable view of the law from the numbers reported by the poll in June. Also revealed in the lastest results is a significant drop in the number of Americans who reported to hold no opinion one way or the other on ObamaCare. This figure dropped by five points from June to just 11 percent. The number of those holding a positive opinion of the law remained relatively unchanged, dropping by one point.


What these figures ultimately suggest is that as more and more Americans begin to generate concrete opinions on ObamaCare their experiences are driving them to hold a negative view of the signature legislative achievement of President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

What is particularly interesting about the July poll results is that they do not seem to reflect any major event associated with the ongoing implementation of ObamaCare. Previous spikes in negative views towards the law have been closely associated with events such as the mass issuance of policy cancellations and the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov. The poll was conducted prior to the recent DC Circuit Court decision in Halbig v. Burwell, which determined that the Obama administration and the IRS had illegally promised billions of dollars worth of subsidies to millions of individuals in 34 states. 

What the poll did reflect is that most Americans who are discussing ObamaCare with their friends and family are hearing bad things about how the law is affecting the people they know and love. Of people that have reported discussing ObamaCare with their friends and family, roughly 57 percent reported hearing predominantly negative things about it versus only 12 percent who reported hearing mostly positive things. In regards to Americans’ own personal experiences with the law, per the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll’s report, “almost twice as many feel the law has hurt them and their family as feel it has helped them.”

American Encore Policy Director Patrick Hedger offered the following statement on the recent poll results: 

“We all remember then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s now infamous assertion that Congress had to ‘pass the bill so we can find out what is in it.’ What we’re seeing right now is that chicken coming home to roost for the Democrats. There is nothing the supporters of this law can hide behind or defer blame to for these poll results. The majority of the law, as they themselves have asserted, is working as they intended and to the surprise of no one, save for the law’s most ardent supporters, the American people hate it. This isn’t the latest glitch. This is ObamaCare finally getting out of its own way and proceeding to wreak its designed havoc on Americans’ healthcare with higher costs and diminished choice.”

The poll was able to capture the opinions of Americans on the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. In that decision, the Supreme Court ruled that government cannot compel private companies to provide coverage for contraceptives that may violate the religious beliefs held by the owners of that company, as was required under ObamaCare. While the survey reveals that public opinion is evenly divided about the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision, more Americans than not generally agree that the responsibility to pay for contraceptive coverage belongs with the woman using it versus those who feel it is the government’s responsibility or the insurance company’s. Further, only 12 percent of Americans see the Hobby Lobby decision as a major setback for ObamaCare while more than a third actually believe the case is unrelated to the law. For these reasons, it is difficult to conclude that the Hobby Lobby case is the primary source of the spike in dissatisfaction with the law.

It's Time for an American Encore