CNN poll shows ObamaCare just as popular as ever one year later

Think the White House will be lighting a candle on a cake to celebrate the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare today?  If so, the only real way to celebrate would be to use a 3,000-page recipe for a cake that got drafted in the dark and baked in, say, eight minutes or so of daylight.  If not, it’s completely understandable, as no one else feels like going to the trouble either, according to the latest CNN poll:

One year after President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill into law, a new national poll indicates that attitudes toward the plan have not budged.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of the signing of the law, 37 percent of Americans support the measure, with 59 percent opposed. That’s basically unchanged from last March, when 39 percent supported the law and 59 percent opposed the measure.

“It’s worth remembering that opposition to the bill came from both the left and the right last year, and that has not changed either,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “In 2010, about a quarter of the health care bill’s opponents disliked the bill because it was not liberal enough – the same as today. That works out to 13 percent of all Americans who oppose the bill because it did not go far enough. Forty-three percent oppose it because it was too liberal.”

Bear in mind that this is a poll of adults, not of registered or likely voters.  CNN hasn’t released the sample data yet, but it’s a fair guess that they’re not oversampling Republicans in this poll, either.

Also, CNN compares the latest result to the first in its polling series on this question, just before its passage.  Those numbers look close, from 39/59 in March 2010 to 37/59 now.  However, the Obama administration has spent the past year trying to sell the rilly kewl benefits that start immediately as a means of boosting the law’s popularity.  They managed to close the gap a little by December in the CNN series to 43/54.  The drop since back to Square One strongly suggests that the White House has lost this political battle, and that ObamaCare will continue to be a liability.

Expect its opponents to take shots at the law today, but none may be so affecting and effective as Senator Ron Johnson’s personal take on American health care.  Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Johnson tells readers why this is no mere academic exercise for him:

Some years ago, a little girl was born with a serious heart defect: Her aorta and pulmonary artery were reversed. Without immediate intervention, she would not have survived.

The infant was rushed to another hospital where a surgeon performed a procedure at 1 a.m. that saved her life. Eight months later, when her heart was the size of a small plum, an incredibly dedicated and skilled team of medical professionals surgically reconstructed it. Twenty-seven years later, the young woman is now a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit where she is studying to become a nurse practitioner.

She wasn’t saved by a bureaucrat, and no government mandate forced her parents to purchase the coverage that saved her. Instead, her care was provided under a run-of-the-mill plan available to every employee of an Oshkosh, Wis., plastics plant.

If you haven’t guessed, this story touches my heart because the girl is my daughter, Carey. And my wife and I are incredibly thankful that we had the freedom to seek out the most advanced surgical technique. The procedure that saved her, and has given her a chance at a full life, was available because America has a free-market system that has advanced medicine at a phenomenal pace.

I don’t even want to think what might have happened if she had been born at a time and place where government defined the limits for most insurance policies and set precedents on what would be covered. Would the life-saving procedures that saved her have been deemed cost-effective by policy makers deciding where to spend increasingly scarce tax dollars?

All third-party payer systems impose some system of rationing.  Even the price system without the third party is a system of rationing in a conceptual sense, the rationing of goods and services depending on relative scarcity, quality, and demand.  But with non-governmental rationing, consumers have means to work around one particular set of rationing, for example by choosing another insurer.  When the government takes over those decisions, no other choice will be available to consumers, at least not within that market — which is why Canadians come to the US for treatment when speed and availability is of the essence.

The government may have chosen to save Johnson’s daughter, but they shouldn’t have the power to choose that in the first place.

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