The latest Kaiser health tracking poll shows Obamacare continues to be the first entitlement program ever to be roundly (and rightly) rejected by the American people at the outset. The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll has more:
Only 39% of those surveyed have a favorable view of the law, two points below the previous nadir of 41% first set in May 2010. Forty-four percent of Americans have an unfavorable view. …
A plurality of Americans, 47%, believe the law “won’t make much difference” in their own lives while 31% believe it will help and 14% say it will hurt. Asked how the law would help, a respondent told Kaiser, “Coverage will be available to me and my family.” A respondent who believed the law would hurt explained that the law is “going to increase taxes a whole lot and make it difficult to find a job and take more paperwork and take decisions out of doctors [hands].”
Importantly, the poll tracks the views of those without health insurance — the very people the law aims to help.
The poll also showed awareness of the law’s key provisions has declined.
“With health reform somewhat less in the news as the debt ceiling debate took center stage, there has been a decline in public awareness about provisions that advocates have touted as key benefits of health reform,” the summary states. That’s an important indictment of the failure of the GOP to rhetorically link Obamacare repeal to debt and deficit reduction. Precisely because the debt ceiling debate took center stage, Obamacare should have received more attention, not less. Yes, the introduction of Obamacare and the need for repeal into the debt ceiling debate would have made agreement on a deal even more difficult to achieve, but, in light of just how profoundly PPACA will add to the deficit, the discussion should still have taken place. Repeal might not be politically possible until Republicans retake the Senate and White House, but the case for repeal needs to be made at every stage leading up to that for both political and practical reasons, as the ongoing unpopularity of the law and the decreasing awareness of its key provisions attest.
Update: Guy Benson explores concerns that Republicans aren’t as strong on “replace” as they are on “repeal” and features a proposed remedy for that.