ObamaCare turned four yesterday, but Americans aren’t enchanted by this toddler, according to a new survey by Pew. Not only has its overall approval not budged, but the subgroups targeted by the Obama administration for support are not buying into the program, either. Fox News offered its take on the numbers today:
Like party-goers who wish they weren’t invited, as ObamaCare hits its fourth birthday this Sunday a new poll shows Americans don’t much like the birthday boy. And who can blame them? Born of highly-partisan passage in 2010 by a then Democratic-controlled Congress without a single favorable Republican vote, the president’s signature health law has unleashed a cascade of confusion via a disastrous rollout, millions of policy cancellations and sticker shock. Results of the latest Pew Research survey show 53 percent of respondents disapprove of the entitlement program, while 41 percent approve. Opposition to the health law is just one point shy of the poll’s all-time high. This can’t be a welcome gift as team Obama continues its feverish enrollment push to reach a scaled-down goal of six million ObamaCare sign ups by March 31.
The breakdown – Equally damaging to the White House: its effort to boost enrollment among Hispanics is falling flat. Pew finds a dramatic drop in Hispanic support for the health law from September when 61 percent approved of ObamaCare. Now, despite a flurry of appearances on Spanish television by President Obama, only 47 percent approve of the program. While young people, another critical group remain split, some 32 percent say they disapprove very strongly of the president’s signature healthcare law. If the administration can’t convince enough of these young invincibles to enroll the impact on insurance risk pools could result in even higher premium costs for all.
The poll itself has a little more nuance to it. In the Pew series, the approval/disapproval numbers mostly remained within the margin of error for the first three years of the law, which notably didn’t have a lot of direct impact on American consumers during that period. The implementation of it in the last six months has dramatically changed its perception, as their chart shows:
They have a bone to throw ObamaCare supporters, too, but the question itself calls into question its usefulness:
A majority of ACA opponents – representing 30% of the public overall – want politicians to do what they can to make the law work as well as possible, compared with 19% of the public that wants elected officials to do what they can to make it fail. These opinions are little changed from December, but in the September poll opponents were more evenly divided over how they wanted elected officials to deal with the law.
Most opponents of ObamaCare who want repeal aren’t agitating for politicians to sabotage the law. They want it repealed because they believe it cannot succeed in the first place, and that it will create long-term damage to the American economy, to health care, and to personal liberty — all of which, by the way, we’ve already seen in the short term. If that’s how the question was asked (and it appears it was), those results are useless.
Meanwhile, it’s notable that the impression of ObamaCare is worse among independents (37/59) than the general population (41/53). Very few of the other demos give Democrats much reason for hope, either. Black voters are overwhelmingly in favor of it, but not to the same extent they normally support Democrats (77/18). Half of voters under 30 years of age support it, but it’s a virtual tie with disapproval (50/47), with majorities disapproving in every other age demo. The same approval percentage applies to college graduates, with all other education demos firmly disapproving of the law. Every income demo has an underwater rating; even among those earning less than $30K per year, the law gets a 45/47 virtual split.
The question then becomes this: who are the targets of the Democratic pitch on ObamaCare? Nancy Pelosi wants Democrats to run on the law as a boon to their base, but as Erika noted yesterday, Larry Sabato thinks that’s a disastrous strategy. He warns that Democrats talking about ObamaCare will only boost turnout for their opponents. This is a trap of their own making, the petard by which Democrats will hoist themselves in November. It only looks good from the safe seats, as Sabato points out, and when massive premium increases hit this fall, there may be fewer of those safe seats than Pelosi imagines.