Gallup: ObamaCare unpopularity unchanged since open-enrollment ended

posted at 10:41 am on May 29, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Translation: If you disliked our plan, you still have to keep our plan. The Obama administration took a victory lap based on dubious-at-best enrollment figures after the deadline passed to sign up for ObamaCare, but Americans aren’t running alongside. Public opinion remains largely fixed, Gallup reports, more than a month later (via Taegan Goddard):

Although the Obama administration is boasting higher-than-expected enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, Americans’ attitudes toward the healthcare law have changed only marginally since the open enrollment period ended for 2014. A steady 43% of Americans approve of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” while a majority continue to disapprove of it, roughly where sentiment was before the enrollment window officially closed on March 31. …

At the moment, there appears to be a rare lull in media scrutiny and political acrimony toward the healthcare law. The opportunity to buy individual health insurance policies through federal or state-run exchanges officially came to a close on March 31, 2014. The number enrolled now exceeds 8 million, and the high tally gave the impression of a good finish to what had been a very bad start, plagued by a botched website launch in early October and then reports of canceled insurance policies due to new, Affordable Care Act-inspired regulatory standards.

Nonetheless, public opinion about the healthcare law has been relatively steady throughout this front-and-center saga, mostly immune to both the good and bad developments. Approval of the law fell to 38% in early January 2014, when the federal exchange website’s glitches continued to plague the rollout of the marketplaces. Approval ratings improved slightly once the website was fixed and the public relations fiasco receded.

The long-term view of the law hasn’t changed much, either. Gallup respondents split 44/37 on whether ObamaCare will make the healthcare situation worse or better. Both numbers fall within the margin of error with all of the other results in the Gallup series over the past year.

That may be a bigger problem for the White House than it first appears, though. The Obama administration needed a big boost after open enrollment that resulted from people gaining coverage, but that has not materialized. The problem for the White House will be what happens when people actually start to use it and find that they can’t keep their doctor and have to pay more out of pocket before benefits kick into play. The next few months will generate plenty of disillusionment, even before the expected premium shock coming in the early fall.

That may not be the only bad autumn for this White House, either. A University of Minnesota economist analyzed the data from the final enrollment reports and predicts that by the fall of 2016, the US will have more uninsured than when we started with ObamaCare, and premiums will skyrocket out of sight just before the presidential election:

Stephen Parente, a University of Minnesota health economist who advised Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, used the Obama administration’s final 2014 enrollment reports and his microsimulation model to project health plan prices and enrollment over the next decade. His projections, shared first with the Washington Post, find an increase in individual plan enrollment in 2015 and 2016, before sharply dropping off in 2017 and then slowly decreasing below 2015 levels by 2024. At the same time, he projects a steady decrease in employer coverage that will be steeper than the gains in Medicaid enrollment, resulting in a greater number of uninsured 10 years out. …

So, how does Parente’s model explain the big drop-off in coverage between 2016 and 2017? He cites two major factors: the scheduled expiration of ACA programs meant to blunt major rate hikes and the phasing in of new health plan requirements as old health plans come to an end.

On the first point, the temporary reinsurance and risk corridor programs are scheduled to end in 2016. These programs are designed to stabilize premiums as insurers adjust to the health-care law’s new coverage requirements, with the idea that the reformed market will settle within three years.

To the second point, Parente estimates between 4 million and 6 million people will see their existing individual coverage end in the next few years when either their plans lose grandfathered status or the White House’s extension of non-compliant health plans runs out near the end of 2016. These holdovers from the individual market predating the ACA are expected to be younger, healthier and more sensitive to price.

Of course, by this time the Obama White House will be making retirement plans of their own, so they may not care much about what happens to Democratic political fortunes in the final weeks of the next presidential cycle. From these projections and the polling, though, it appears ObamaCare is as popular now as it’s ever going to be … and that’s bad news for the White House now, and not just in 2016.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I am going to donate my healthcare savings to the Democrat Party….

Electrongod on May 29, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Alternate headline: “Racism Remains At High Levels”

Bitter Clinger on May 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Will Democrats pay a political price? 51% of the population will be on the dole by 2016, so probably not. Gold, guns, and arable/defensible land.

ramesees on May 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM

But, if just 1 person benefits….

hillsoftx on May 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM

I am going to donate my healthcare savings to the Democrat Party….

Electrongod on May 29, 2014 at 10:44 AM

I don’t think the Democratic Party is going to pay you.

NotCoach on May 29, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Republicans: “Quick! We have to ‘fix’ Obamacare and bail Obama out!”

Doomberg on May 29, 2014 at 10:47 AM

This reminds me of a sewer worker I knew when I was about 8 or 9. I asked him how he goes to work every day since it smells so bad. He said after about ten minutes or so, he didn’t notice the smell any more.

I’m just surprised that hasn’t happened with Zerocare yet.

platypus on May 29, 2014 at 10:49 AM

You’re on your own Hillary
Take care
-BO

cmsinaz on May 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Gallup: ObamaCare unpopularity unchanged since open-enrollment ended

Let’s remember something here. From the very beginning, Obamacare was designed to make 2014 the Dems year for winning in the elections. The whole rollout was scheduled so that a grateful electorate would be singing the praises of Obamacare come November 2014. Every delay, exemption, and waiver has been damage control in light of this original schedule. Where the Dems thought they could skate to victory in 2014 on a wave of enthusiasm over Obamacare, they don’t even dare mention it in their campaign ads.

Dems demanded full credit for Obamacare. I, for one, intend to make sure that they get it.

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2014 at 10:53 AM

and predicts that by the fall of 2016, the US will have more uninsured than when we started with ObamaCare

On to single payer, VA style. What…you don’t like the idea of waiting 115 days for an appointment? Suffering is good for you, in fact some might even say it’s bracing.

Bishop on May 29, 2014 at 10:55 AM

The IRS says that employers can’t drop their plans and force employees onto the exchanges.

Employers have a few choices: lay off workers is one of them…

…my favorite one is this: FINE. You want to force ME to provide health insurance to my employees, I will. BUT the employee will pay 100% of the cost.

How do you like me now?

ladyingray on May 29, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Tlaloc? Tell us why we’re so wrong!

22044 on May 29, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Wait until the employer mandate hits. The unpopularity will go up exponentially.

neyney on May 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Come on now people!!

Being pissed off at having our plans canceled, being forced into higher priced, higher deductible, and higher co-pays for less coverage with very few providers is disappointing Obama.

Don’t make King Barky the Liar sad you racists.

jukin3 on May 29, 2014 at 11:11 AM

“From these projections and the polling, though, it appears ObamaCare is as popular now as it’s ever going to be..”

Oh, I do not think so. It has along way to fall even yet.

Techster64 on May 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM

All aboard….

oscarwilde on May 29, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Their plan is on track. Single payer after the mid-terms IMO.

Don L on May 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Alternate headline: “Racism Remains At High Levels”

Bitter Clinger on May 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Man, I just laughed hard enough to get in trouble at work.

abobo on May 29, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Well, since El Schad hasn’t shown up yet (or libfreeordie, for that matter):

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

de rigueur on May 29, 2014 at 11:30 AM

But, if just 1 person benefits….

hillsoftx on May 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Sadly, that typical Democratic fallback excuse works again and again.

If new coal-generating plant regs prevent just one case of cancer…
If new gun-restrictions save just one child…
If new tobacco taxes save just one mother from lung cancer…
etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Meanwhile, suggest that requiring abortionariums be inspected at least as often as nail salons, and it’s “War on Womyn”.

slickwillie2001 on May 29, 2014 at 11:31 AM

de rigueur, just wanted to post that :)

Thanks!

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2014 at 11:33 AM

They’re starting to live with it.

formwiz on May 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Counterpoint: the one (1) person who successfully enrolled supports Obamacare.

Now on to the other 319,999,999 persons!

jangle12 on May 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM

When premiums decline y’all are going to be pissed!

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2014 at 11:51 AM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2014 at 11:53 AM

The wifey works at a level 1 trauma hospital.Huge place with 14,000 employees.She says Dr visits and surgeries are down by big numbers.Those copays and deductibles are kicking in

docflash on May 29, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Well it’s about as popular as the Black Death…

sorrowen on May 29, 2014 at 12:36 PM

News alert: Obamacare is still unpopular and Generalissimo Fransisco Franco is still dead. The debate is over.

warmairfan on May 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

At the moment, there appears to be a rare lull in media scrutiny and political acrimony toward the healthcare law.

Just wait until the employer-provided plans and new premiums are posted just before the November elections.

GarandFan on May 29, 2014 at 1:03 PM

When premiums necessarily skyrocket y’all are going to be pissed!

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

What libfree meant to say.

Closet Optimist on May 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Higher insurance costs, hospitals penalized for giving free care to the poor, reduction on availability of services.

It’s great that the Democrats care so much. I just wish they weren’t so tragically incompetent.

Or maybe they just pretend to care, and are actually totally evil.

Either way, the result looks the same.

s1im on May 29, 2014 at 1:36 PM

When premiums decline y’all are going to be pissed!

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

You are right in a way, because the Democrat definition of ‘premiums decline’ goes like this:
Up 30% this year
Down 5% next year

Resulting headline: “Democrats hail the reduced cost of insurance premiums!”

And yes, we will (still) be pissed.

s1im on May 29, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Gallup: ObamaCare unpopularity unchanged since open-enrollment ended

Yet he would have no problem getting elected to a third term. Hmmm.

Too bad we don’t have a real government steeped in the ideals of our Founding Fathers and Jeffersonian Democracy who would have made it a priority to aggressively investigate the possibility of massive, nationwide voter fraud.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 29, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Does anyone tell him how bad his numbers are? Does Dem Obama get this info from the news???

Notice how gray his hair is getting? Wonder if he’d like to be out of office????

MN J on May 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM