WSJ/NBC poll: ObamaCare now more unpopular than ever

Quelle surprise.  This comes from the normally more sympathetic Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, too, as most other pollsters put opposition to ObamaCare in majority status for the last several years.  The WSJ/NBC poll almost gets there now despite the continued arguments from the White House that it won’t impact most Americans:

President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law remains unpopular with the American public just months before it fully goes into effect, according to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll shows 49 percent of Americans say they believe the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea. That’s the highest number recorded on this question since the poll began measuring it in 2009. Just 37 percent say the plan is a good idea.

As the political battle over implementation of the law heats up in Washington, the numbers mark an increase in unpopularity since July 2012, right after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obama’s overhaul. Back then, 44 percent of NBC/WSJ poll respondents called it a bad idea, vs. 40 percent who called it a good one.

The WSJ review of the poll notes that most of those opposed to ObamaCare oppose it vigorously:

Prior Journal/NBC polls have found more people calling the health law a bad idea rather than a good one. But the number calling it a bad idea reached a high of 49% in a poll of 1,000 adults taken between May 30 and June 2, with 43% “strongly” holding that view.

The White House has tried to assuage unhappiness by claiming that most Americans won’t know the difference:

Obama countered earlier this year, “Despite all the hue and cry and ‘sky is falling’ predictions about this stuff, if you’ve already got health insurance, then that part of Obamacare that affects you, it’s pretty much already in place. And that’s about 85 percent of the country.”

Except that’s demonstrably untrue.  Premiums on both the individual and group markets have been rising ever since the ACA’s passage, and they’re going to explode this fall when open enrollment for 2014 has to account for all of the mandates imposed by the new law.  That impacts everyone, not just the 15% who are uninsured.

Speaking of whom, the CBO estimates that all of this extra expense and bureaucracy will reduce that 15% to, er … 11%:

However, for those who have kept up with Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections on the implementation and progress of Obamacare over the next decade, the results will not be all that surprising.  On the contrary, the most recent report issued by the CBO in May appears pessimistic by comparison. Of the 55 million “Uninsured Nonelderly People” the report lists for 2013, only 11 million, or 20 percent, are projected to obtain insurance during 2014; the number of uninsured falls only to 44 million next year according to the CBO.  This leaves a full 80 percent uninsured, significantly more than the 67 percent found by the survey.

In fact, the CBO projects that under Obamacare over the next decade, the number of uninsured will never fall below 30 million. …

Despite Obamacare’s mix of requirements, mandates, subsidies, and penalties, the CBO projects that the law will never be able to decrease the number of uninsured below 11 percent of the population.

Remember that the Obama administration repeatedly promised that this reform was necessary to insure all of the uninsured and at the same time lower premiums.  It does neither, and as I argue in today’s Fiscal Times column, that will create yet another credibility crisis for the White House that may end up being worse than the credibility crises in which the administration finds itself embroiled now:

So far, the credibility crisis has its genesis more in behavior than on policy, but that may change. The more we find out about Obama’s biggest legislative victory, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the more it becomes apparent that the White House sold Americans a bill of goods on health-care reform. …

The middle class will end up having to foot the bill for this massive entitlement program, thanks to the progressive scale of subsidies and the distribution of benefits. The failure of the Affordable Care Act to either be affordable or to provide the promised amount of care will become acutely apparent by the end of this year, as Americans prepare to comply with Barack Obama’s “reform.”

Whatever is left of the administration’s credibility will be erased by the outcomes of its healthcare policy, but that won’t be the last word.  That will come the following November, when Democrats have to defend their bait-and-switch, goalpost-shifting defense of Obamacare.

And if it’s this unpopular before all the mandates, enforcement mechanisms, and IRS engagements have taken place, just imagine how popular it will be a year from now.