Far from becoming more popular as it begins to be implemented, Obama’s signature legislative achievement draws ever lower levels of approval and support as more and more Americans “find out what’s in it.” According to a tracking poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, just 34 percent of Americans view the law favorably — the lowest level of approval since Obama signed the legislation into law in March of last year.
Interestingly, waning approval among Democrats drove this. In October, just 52 percent of Democrats viewed Obamacare positively, compared to 65 percent who liked the law a month ago. Support among independents and Republicans dropped, too, but not nearly so drastically — from 36 percent to 32 percent and from 14 percent to 11 percent, respectively.
And Americans are now more than twice as likely to say they think the law will make no difference in their lives as they are to say it will improve circumstances for their family.
If only it were true that the law will make no difference. It’s encouraging that fewer folks look at the law favorably, but more work still needs to be done to spread the message that Obamacare is not only massively expensive at a time when the nation can’t afford it — it also costs jobs.
Consider these facts:
- From the recession’s low point in January 2009 to April 2010, the private sector added about 67,600 jobs a month.
- The president signed the PPACA into law on March 23, 2010.
- After April 2010, the private sector added just about 6,500 jobs a month.
Additional research demonstrates that low-skilled workers are most likely to be priced out of a job.
The Kaiser Family Foundation poll also had interesting information for Mr. Romney: Nearly three quarters of the public, including seven in 10 likely Republican presidential primary voters, say they don’t know enough about Romneycare to have either a favorable or unfavorable opinion of it. And 71 percent say they don’t know whether the law closely resembles Obamacare.
Either way, the low level of approval for Obamacare underscores the importance of hammering this issue in the 2012 elections — both in the presidential election and in Senate races. Obama attempted to sell Obamacare with more speeches than he’s devoted to the American Jobs Act and the American people still haven’t bought into it. No amount of stumping on this issue on the campaign trail — provided his talking points are countered with the facts — will work in his favor. He’ll probably stay away from the topic, except to tout it as an accomplishment to friendly audiences. But if the GOP nominee brings it up relentlessly — and repeatedly reminds voters the law can only be repealed if Obama is not reelected — that can only be a boon to the Republican campaign.