Pew: Majority says ObamaCare will have important impact on midterm vote, 37/50 approval rating

posted at 1:21 pm on April 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

As Jim Geraghty points out, this answers the outlier from the Washington Post/ABC poll which put ObamaCare’s popularity at a virtual tie. Those results, coming at the end of a hard-sell by the White House to get people to sign up before the end of the enrollment period, had been hailed as a sign that the Obama administration turned the political corner on its most prominent failure. The new Pew/USA Today poll shows that it’s still business as usual — and that voters will make this a priority in November:

A new national survey finds that 64% of Republican registered voters say a candidate’s stance on the health care law will be very important in their voting decision, compared with 52% of Democrats and 45% of independents.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted April 3-6 among 1,010 adults, finds more continue to disapprove (50%) than approve (37%) of the 2010 health care law. Last month, the balance of opinion was similar – 53% disapproved of the law, while 41% approved.

Six-in-ten (60%) voters who oppose the health care law say that a candidate’s stance on the health care law will be very important to their vote, compared with about half (48%) of voters who support the law.

The passion, in other words, won’t favor ObamaCare supporters. It especially won’t help with the independents that Democrats need to avoid a disaster in the midterms. Republicans in particular are fired up, and independents are deeply unhappy with ObamaCare as well. They give it a 34/54 approval rating, and see the law’s impact in worse terms than the nation as a whole. Overall, the positive/negative impact is 30/43, but it’s 26/47 among independents.

The White House wants to claim that the 7.1 million sign-ups announced by the Obama administration last week means that “the debate is over.” Actually, it’s just begun on whether those numbers are real, and what they mean. In my column for The Fiscal Times today (and picked up by Drudge), I compare two studies that came out over the last few days, and discover that the actual number enrolled for the first time for insurance looks a lot lower than the White House claim:

The first of the independent studies comes from the RAND Corporation, which studied the changes in the health insurance market between September 2013 – just before the rollout of the state exchanges – and the end of the open-enrollment period at the end of last month. …

Another 8.2 million more people enrolled in employer-provided health care, as 7.1 million left the “other” category and another 1.6 million left the individual insurance markets. Only 3.9 million actually enrolled in insurance plans through state or federal exchanges – not 7.1 million as claimed by Obama. That number falls far short of even the lowered expectations issued by HHS and the White House earlier this year. 

Another study by prescription-coverage management firm Express Scripts strongly suggests that the new enrollees are a lot less healthy than the population at large, too:

Their new study shows, for instance, that the enrollees from state and federal exchanges have a 47 percent higher use of specialty medications than in commercial plans in general. “Increased volume for higher cost specialty drugs can have a significant impact on the cost burden for both plan sponsors and patients,” the report reminds readers. “Despite comprising less than 1 percent of all U.S. prescriptions,” the report continues, “specialty medications now account for more than a quarter of the country’s total pharmacy spend.”

The medications themselves show that the care costs will increase relative to the existing risk pools as well. The rate for HIV medications in Obamacare exchange plans is four times higher than in existing commercial plans. Medication prescriptions are 35 percent higher, and anti-seizure medication increases 27 percent. Ironically, the only category where exchange consumers have lower demand than commercial-plan customers is in contraception – the focus of a big political battle in the employer mandate.

What does this mean? It means that insurers will have to come back in 2015 with massive increases in premiums, higher deductibles, or both. The ObamaCare structure depending on getting healthier people to sign up for comprehensive coverage in order to improve the risk pools. Instead, just as its critics predicted, it has added more costs and risks to those risk pools, and insurers will have to adjust for that in the next round of premium hikes.

And, by the way, how many of those newly insured now in Express Scripts coverage from state and federal exchanges had a 2013 policy?

Of those who enrolled in an exchange plan, Express Scripts finds, 43 percent already had Express Scripts coverage in 2013 – and at least some of the other 57 percent may have had coverage under another prescription-medication management service. If the total number of actual exchange enrollees is 3.9 million, the final number of previously uninsured exchange consumers may be only as high as 2.23 million.

The debate on ObamaCare isn’t over, and neither is the debate on the White House’s credibility.

Let’s give Andrew Klavan the last word. His premiere video for Truth Revolt asks whether we’re hearing ObamaCare truth, lies, or complete crap:

I’m pretty sure we don’t need a poll to answer that question.


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“No gambling in Casablanca” — Pelosi, Reid, Wasserman-Schmutz

Schadenfreude on April 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Pryor, Landrieu and all the scum who voted for the national travesty MUST go.

Wake up AR and LA. Out, out, out!!!

Make them go the way of Blanche Lincoln, the impertinent hacks and liars.

Schadenfreude on April 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Work harder…to pay for all the illegal scum, with “love”, as Jeb Bush says.

Schadenfreude on April 10, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The White House wants to claim that the 7.1 million sign-ups announced by the Obama administration last week means that “the debate is over.” Actually, it’s just begun on whether those numbers are real, and what they mean.

The debate is over, those are fake numbers.

rbj on April 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Forget about your lost healthcare plan. Look at the way Obamacare was treated by voters at the polls.

Roy Rogers on April 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The debate is over, those are fake numbers.

rbj on April 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

They are using Obama’s Twitter follows as a baseline

Roy Rogers on April 10, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Believe nothing that the Regime claims, especially claims made about this law in particular.

They are Known Liars. The Debate about THAT is certainly over.

Mord on April 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Make obama’care’ voluntary and see how many care for it.

There is NO mandate in China and Russia.

Schadenfreude on April 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

To think Obamacare is beneficial to health one would have to be as psychotic as sleazy Eric Holder.

viking01 on April 10, 2014 at 1:41 PM

I hope your coffins are comfortable.

Dave Rywall on October 3, 2013

Chuck Schick on April 10, 2014 at 1:45 PM

It especially won’t help with the independents that Democrats need to avoid a disaster in the midterms.

There will be a democrat defeat in 2014 elections but not a disaster like in 2010…

In the House, the Republicans almost ran out of districts that they can win simply because of racial and ideological congressional districts that the democrats are now controlling… 95% of these districts favor the democrat either racially or ideologically or a combination of both… Still the Republicans will have a very high probability of keeping their majority in the House and may add 5 to 10 seats more…

In the Senate, the Republicans are very unlikely to win the Senate but rather net a gain of 2 to 3 seats… The reason is that at wide state elections are now favoring the democrats because of the racial and ideological make up of a slim majority of states, 26 to 27 states racially and ideologically favor democrats versus 23 to 24 states that racially and ideologically favor Republicans…

mnjg on April 10, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Will Obamacare be repealed or won’t it? Will Congress fund it or won’t it? Will the web site be fixed or not? Blah, blah, blah. We the people just need to do what we need to do and Democrats be damned. Resist. Refuse. Revolt. EXEMPT OURSELVES! We did not comply with Prohibition and we simply should not comply with Obamacare. For religious reasons. For privacy reasons. For the cause of liberty and freedom and in protest of the idea that the federal government (under one party rule, no less), can force private citizens to purchase anything with our own money. Are we citizens or subjects? Mice or (wo)men? Just say NO to socialism and to the corrupt, unionized, far left IRS: the gestapo of America’s political class. Afraid of arrest? not to worry! After all, the federal government ignores millions of illegals who are breaking U.S. immigration law every day. Our Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. All we have to do is just say no to a scheme we all know is un-American and a violation of our most basic founding fundamentals of privacy, self reliance, limited government and individual freedom.
How To Opt Out Of Obamacare. Know your options and become savvy self-pay patients. Join a health care sharing ministry. These are voluntary, charitable membership organizations that agree to share medical bills among the membership. They function similar to insurance, and are probably the best alternative to conventional health insurance. There are four of them, at least that I know of. Three are open only to practicing Christians (Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Christian Care Ministry) while a fourth, Liberty HealthShare, is open to anyone who agrees with their ethical commitment to religious liberty. They operate entirely outside of Obamacare’s regulations, and typically offer benefits for about half the cost of similar health insurance. Members are also exempt from having to pay the tax for being uninsured. From the article by Sean Parnell http://thefederalist. com/2013/12/04/opt-obamacare/#.Up9MwGKiM_o.email

devan95 on April 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Come in trolls, try to defend O-No-Care!

22044 on April 10, 2014 at 1:52 PM

devan95 on April 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Amen!

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Roy Rogers on April 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Ironically, the only category where exchange consumers have lower demand than commercial-plan customers is in contraception – the focus of a big political battle in the employer mandate.

Well, duh. These people are sicker than most, older than most, etc. These people use less birth control than the healthier, younger counterparts? My goodness, how can that be?

Midas on April 10, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Atheist feeevah retaliation thread in 3…2…1…

Eph on April 10, 2014 at 2:21 PM

When does Allahpundit share another poll insisting Obamacare is 49/49 and we should all abandon the Tea Party extremists and go with those wonderful establishment Republicans?

Baggi on April 10, 2014 at 2:32 PM

You mean the whole equal pay myth thing that the dems are making up to deflect from Obamacare isn’t going to be a major factor in voting? Shocked!

The Notorious G.O.P on April 10, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I wish HA could get Klavan onboard. The guy is great!

captnjoe on April 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM

devan95 on April 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Those pesky Christians again. Always standing in the way of Utopia.

Cleombrotus on April 10, 2014 at 4:11 PM