Americans Wanted SCOTUS to Overturn ObamaCare, and They're Glad It Didn't

A New York Times/CBS News survey finds that Americans have a slightly lower opinion of the Supreme Court than they did before it upheld most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including its individual health insurance mandate (redefined as a tax), on June 28. Or maybe not. The share of respondents who approved of the job the Court is doing fell from 44 percent last month to 41 percent this month, while the share expressing disapproval rose from 36 percent to 41 percent. The poll's statistical margin of error is three percentage points, however, and the Times notes that "shifts in results between polls over time...have a larger sampling error." So even though this apparent shift is highlighted in the headline and the lead of the paper's story about the survey, we probably should not read too much into it, especially since more respondents approved of the health care decision than disapproved of it (46 percent vs. 41 percent). The latter breakdown is rather startling, given that just last month another New York Times/CBS News poll found that "two-thirds of Americans hope that the court overturns some or all of the 2010 health care law." 

Despite the fact that supporters of upholding the law now outnumber opponents, 53 percent of respondents said the Court's decision to do so was "mainly based on the justices's personal or political views," while only 31 percent thought it was "mainly based on legal analysis." As for the content of that analysis, 55 percent deemed the "shared responsibility payment" imposed on people who fail to obtain government-approved medical coverage "more of a penalty" (which is not surprising, since that's what the law calls it and since the poll question described the payment as a "fine"), while only 34 percent considered it "more of a tax." Counterintuitively, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to call it a tax, even though that label was the basis for the Court's decision, which was decidedly less popular among Republicans than among Democrats. Possibly Republicans hate taxes so much that they feel the term expresses more disapproval than a mere penalty. (Mitt Romney, by contrast, said after the decision that he considered the payment a penalty, only to reverse himself two days later, saying he felt bound by the Court's nomenclature.) Finally, 53 percent of respondents said they did not know enough about John Roberts, who wrote the health care decision and has been chief justice since 2005, to form an impression of him. Another 20 percent were undecided.

To recap: Americans wanted the Supreme Court to overturn ObamaCare, and they're glad it didn't. The Court is less popular (maybe) than before the health care ruling, which most respondents thought was driven by personal preferences or ideology rather than legal analysis, although a plurality though it was correct. At the same time, most rejected the rationale for upholding the individual mandate, even as the respondents overwhelmingly declined to express an opinion about the justice who came up with it. Although these wildly shifting and seemingly contradictory opinions are bewildering at first blush, I have a theory that could explain them: The views expressed in polls, which demand that people pass judgment on matters about which they may know next to nothing, are not necessarily well informed or well considered. 

The new poll results are here.

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  • Paul.||

    I still see this whole thing as reflecting the lack of a mandate to kick Obama out of office.

    Barring any tragical comedical errors on the Obama administration's part between now and November, we'll be watching Joe Biden run in 2016.

  • Rich||

    the lack of a mandate to kick Obama out

    Not to mention the lack of a *tax* to kick him out.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I pray every night to a different deity for a Joe Biden presidency.

  • ||

    It'll be like a really bad and unrealistic parody, only in real life.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hey man, I have never tried to hide that I am, in fact, only in it for the lulz.

    If Americans wanna leave a steaming pile on what used to be good about this country, fine. Just keep my ass entertained until the fighting starts.

  • Rich||

    Just keep my ass entertained until the fighting starts.

    Yep, it's all fun until someone gets hurt.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Not me pal, I'll be ensconced in my secret lulz chamber forty feet underground.

  • Rich||

    Now *that's* entertainment!

  • ||

    Slightly better then Obama and Bush on most everything yet says insane things every other week...

    I think I will join in your prayer.

    If we are going to live a nightmare we may as well laugh.

  • Tman||

    we'll be watching Joe Biden run in 2016.

    Purely for comic relief alone I want to see this happen.

  • ||

    Barring any tragical comedical errors on the Obama administration's part between now and November, we'll be watching Joe Biden run in 2016.

    You are wrong. Obama is doomed.

  • Paul.||

    Yes, doomed... D00MED!11!111 Why, you can't find a single soul willing to throw caution to the wind and vote Obama! Not a single solitary soul!

    God if there were ever something I wanted to be so wrong about, it's this.

    Bob Dole doesn't want Obama to win! Bob Dole believes in America! Bob Dole's rhymes are bottomless!

  • ||

    I also have a theory that can explain them: polls are useless shit.

  • ||

    Have you no faith in the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE?!?!?!?!??!!

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Considering I lie like a dog to them... yes!

  • Tulpa the White||

    They're not useless, just overused and misused.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Given the difficulties in opinion polling, particularly is formulating questions that don't bias the result, I'm not terribly concerned about polls. They can be well done if property timed and tailored, but that's more an exception than a rule.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sorry, "properly."

  • juris imprudent||

    What would be the point of that? Polling is all about justifying whatever the poll sponsor wants.

  • Paul.||

    I think there are professional pollsters that have no desired result-- beyond an accurate reflection when the real results come in.

    Any poll run by a political organization, or by your state, which asks, "Would you rather have Fire or Police cut if the proposed tax increase doesn't pass?" is looking for a result-- aka a "push" poll.

  • ||

    "Would you rather have Fire or Police cut if the proposed tax increase doesn't pass?"

    Yes.

  • ||

    I wonder whether the Allied States of America scenario will occur if Obama loses. He and his evil crony assholes must have some sort of contingency plan to ensure the High Emperor's continual rule.

  • R C Dean||

    The fact that 2/3 wanted it overturned, and only 40% disapproved of the decision upholding it, proves (again) that Americans are mostly idiots.

    Or, of course, that polls are useless shit.

  • ||

    Heeeey, you and that Episiarch guy seem to have some sort of anti-poll agenda. Conspiracy?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I submit that yes, it is a conspiracy.

    Is it a conspiracy poll:

    Yes: XX

    No:

    Not Sure:

  • ||

    NO

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'll put you down for just a \ since it's really thin.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's in the margin of error.

  • ||

    not sure.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'M EATING DINNER MOTHERFUCKER!

  • Tulpa the White||

    It only proves 26% are idiots, actually.

  • Paleo-ConAvenger||

    ^this

  • R C Dean||

    Well, by my count, the 60% that approved the decision are idiots, and the 24% who previously said they wanted the opposite decision but like the one they got are technically morons.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I don't think that 2/3 "wanting" it overturned is necessarily inconsistent with 40% disapproving the decision to uphold it. Just because someone wants it overturned doesn't mean that person believes there is a constitutional basis to do so. Which, I guess, means they don't care what the Constitution says as long as they get their way, this time. So, yeah, I concur with the decision but not the reasoning.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Where "the decision" == RC's conclusion that "Americans are mostly idiots" not that pantload Roberts foisted on us.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I thought the decision was Lebron going to Miami?

  • R C Dean||

    Which, I guess, means they don't care what the Constitution says as long as they get their way, this time.

    So, idiots.

  • Paul.||

    RC and EPI:

    I don't think polls are totally useless shit. I think they actually reflect the completely schizophrenic voting habits of the average American.

  • Rich||

    Well, yes and no ....

  • juris imprudent||

    "What is your favorite color?"

  • Scott S.||

    This is how we ended up with Poochy!

  • ||

    "You kids don't know what you want. That's why you're still kids, 'cause you're stupid. Just tell me what's wrong with the freakin' show!"

  • Killazontherun||

    Known fact, 100% of movies about backstage shenanigans are terrible.

  • Tulpa the White||

    80% of analysis that synthesizes the results of separate polls is committing logical fallacies up the wazoo.

    "51% of people like chocolate ice cream and 51% of people say chocolate ice cream gives them diarrhea. So a majority of people like having diarrhea."

  • ||

    The fact that everyone is so fucking confused about the decision that they have no idea how they fell about it is not surprising.

  • Paul.||

    Pessimism:

    85% Indian-Americans support Obama for second term: Survey

    NOW, other feminist groups endorse Obama, expect more in second term

    My favorite:

    Let bygones be bygones, disappointments disappear, and face the choice we have in the elections and the duty to do the best we can for our nation.

    Teehee... when you open up your opinion about Obama's second term with "let bygones be bygones"? Priceless.

  • Paul.||

  • General Butt Naked||

    Oh this is beyond rich:

    Nominees for a 2nd Term Cabinet

    ...Secretary of the Treasury: Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. Krugman is known for his work on international economics (including trade theory, economic geography, and international finance) Should a Nobel Prize keep people from serving?
    ....

    Attorney General, Department of Justice: Eliot Spitzer was an outstanding attorney and governor of New York, until brought down by a sex scandal. He is urgently needed to prosecute the top bankers who gambled with the public’s money and brought down the whole economy. He has the skills and persistence to jail people who risked other people’s money for personal gain. His very presence would tend to inhibit the widespread corruption in our government.

    There's more, read on fer yer own laughs.

  • fish||

    Should a Nobel Prize keep people from serving?

    In Krugmans case yes indeed!

    Of course it would be fun to watch him continue to fail on a bigger stage.

  • Killazontherun||

    Um, Chalmers Johnson is dead.

    You may want to update yourself. I do agree that he was a pretty great writer.

    Turdriffic!

  • ||

    He really is a chimp if he's willing to blatantly get fucked by a politician and then just come back and pull the level for him again.

    What fucking pathetic sucker. If TEAM BLUE didn't already subconsciously hate themselves, after this election, they won't be able to stand themselves.

    I find that amusing.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think history will remember the Supreme Court, not Obama and congressional Democrats, as the cause of the bureaucracy that destroyed American healthcare. It will also judge Kate to be solely at fault for the downfall of Jon and Kate Plus 8.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    How do you figure?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, it just stands to reason, doesn't it? She's the one who wanted the divorce instead of trying to work through their differences, which would have made for much better television.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Of course, how could I have missed it? I must be even hungrier than I already thought.

  • ||

    I thought Kate quit her job and started up a catering service with Allie.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Was this a cupcake business?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Susan Saint James is no Eva Marie Saint, but I think she was fairly nice looking.

  • Ted S.||

    What about Jill St. John?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    She's no saint.

  • Loki||

    more respondents approved of the health care decision than disapproved of it (46 percent vs. 41 percent). The latter breakdown is rather startling, given that just last month another New York Times/CBS News poll found that "two-thirds of Americans hope that the court overturns some or all of the 2010 health care law."

    I think this probably just means that a lot of people will believe whatever ridiculous BS that 5 out of 9 Nazguls tell them to believe. "Oh, the mandate is constitutional 'cause it's all of a sudden a tax? Oh, OK, that's cool." Morons.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    If only the GOP had proposed a serious alternative.

    But all they could puke out was bullshit about state lines and tort reform - basically nothing.

  • ||

    So, not substantially different from the Democrats, then?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Dems made the mess bigger but fixed some things too (like busting the cartel).

    Yeah - both pretty much suck. At least Obama paid for his shit and Bush didn't try with his Medicare expansion.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I know if I had a business I'd hate it if everyone was required to buy my product.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Are you kidding me? Obamacare was only "paid for" if you made some seriously optimistic bets about future revenue amounts and double counted several cuts. Obamacare was never actually paid for, and only a fucking clueless idiot such as yourself couldn't see that it was going to end up costing us billions.

    And that's not even touching on the fucking stimulus, which was a trillion dollar boondoggle. Obama has managed to wrack up more debt in 4 years than Bush managed in 8.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Go argue with the CBO, you liar.

    And the stimulus was $787 billion - not a "trillion" and 1/3 of that was tax cuts.

    I know more than you do. Try to be factual next time.

    The Bushpigs gifted Pharma $600 billion without a goddamn penny to pay for it.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The CBO uses the assumptions it is told to use.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No it doesn't. It uses the law as it is written by Congress.

    I am not through with that Hannity idiot anyway - "generic stranger". He needs a beatdown for his bullshit.

    I will win when he starts calling me names like John does.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    How's that doc fix doing anyway?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The doc fix is a total failure. Both parties vote for it annually though.

    Woe be to any pol who lowers Medicare payments.

  • Generic Stranger||

    No it doesn't. It uses the law as it is written by Congress.

    In other words, it uses the assumptions that Congress orders it to use.

    Also: http://news.yahoo.com/cbo-obam.....00655.html

    Obamacare is going to cost at LEAST twice what it was estimated to before it was passed, according to the CBO. You don't know jack shit.

  • Old Mexican||

    He only knows to shit jack.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He also knows how to jack shit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    That was BEFORE the SCOTUS knocked down the Medicaid mandate - the most expensive part of it.

    Your article is from March.

    Try again with a current cost analysis. I am undefeated here. And you are dead wrong on the stimulus by the way. A fact you ignored.

    and you are wrong about the debt. The Bush debt is far higher than the Obama debt by BILL SIGNED (not who was POTUS).

    I will wax you like a Brazilian cut.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I will win when he starts calling me names like John does.

    Actually, the only time you "win" is when people respond to you seriously. Calling you names is all your idiocy deserves. You don't even believe the shit you say yourself.

    I used to doubt that you were one of Mary's personalities but your near total bullshit recently has really made me wonder.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Factless. You have nothing/

  • Generic Stranger||

    That was BEFORE the SCOTUS knocked down the Medicaid mandate - the most expensive part of it.

    [citation needed]

    Funny thing is, these folks seem to think that the medicare mandate was not knocked down, and I don't remember reading anything about that in the news following the SCOTUS decision. Cite your sources, bitch.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Wow, You are seriously uninformed. The SCOTUS ruled that states don't have to pony up the MediCAID (not Medicare) provisions of the ACA.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Cite, motherfucker. Do you have one?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, states are now free to make their own decisions on the Medicaid expansion. As directed by the law, they can expand their Medicaid programs and receive enhanced federal Medicaid funding for this new population. But a state can also choose not to expand its Medicaid program and no longer risk losing their existing federal Medicaid funds. In essence, the ruling makes the Medicaid expansion voluntary.

    Far-right Heritage. Now do you believe me?

    http://www.heritage.org/resear.....-expansion

  • Generic Stranger||

    There's one small problem: according to that document, striking down the provision will actually increase costs by $35-63 or so billion.

    Higher costs. As noted, the law stipulates that only individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid can qualify for the federal subsidy. With the Court’s decision, many of those would-be Medicaid eligible under an expansion—specifically those above 100 percent FPL—will now qualify for the federal subsidy. Heritage estimates that there are between 3.5 million and 6.2 million persons who will now qualify for the subsidies, raising the cost of the subsidies between $35 billion and $63 billion over 10 years. These figures are based on either 26 states opting out or all 50 states opting out of the expansion.[2]

    Also, even if it did cut costs, it did so by finding part of the law that Obama passed unconstitional, which meant it was in spite of what Obama wanted to do, not because of it.

    In other words, you're still full of shit, shriek.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You are arguing for MORE Medicaid? Fuck off. I agree with the SCOTUS.

  • Generic Stranger||

    No, I'm arguing that Obamacare is going to cost the government a shitload of money. You were the one arguing otherwise. And you've conclusively FAILED to prove it.

    Nice try at a red herring though, fuckbucket.

  • fish||

    You "won" when you picked your new handle. A more accurate representation of your ever present odor.

  • wareagle||

    It uses the law as it is written by Congress.

    thanks so much for the laugh of the night. The law "as it is written by Congress" is never the result once implemented. For related evidence, see: Medicare, projections on spending.

    Obamacare will be a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

  • R C Dean||

    At least Obama paid for his shit

    Are you counting the extension of the "Bush" tax cuts that Obama signed?

    Are you counting the out-years of ObamaCare, when it runs a deficit every year?

    Are you counting the stimulus?

    Woe be to any pol who lowers Medicare payments.

    ObamaCare lowers Medicare payments. That's its biggest single "pay-for". So you're right on that one: the Dems got brutalized after voting for it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttplug,

    At least Obama paid for his shit and Bush didn't try with his Medicare expansion.


    "Paid," like the wife that tells his husband "I paid for my shoes just as soon as you get that third job!"

    He "paid" for Obamacare with an increase in taxes (as if the income was guaranteed, as if people never react with ingenuity to new taxation,) and by considering 2010 the starting point in the calculation for deficit increases, despite the fact that the law becomes fully implemented in 2014. Of course, it would look to the most naive among us - i.e. the Statist fucks - as if the law will "pay for itself."

    Besides this, the cost impact on individuals looks even gloomier, as the CBO estimted that between 3 million to 5 million will lose their employer-given insurance coverage thanks to the new law, for the next seven years. Those will be people that will not care one bit if Obama paid for his hist or not, because the guy will be gone yet his shit will still stink up the place.

  • Old Mexican||

    That's "her husband." Sorry

  • wareagle||

    are you sure, O-M? It's a new world out there.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I thought Obamneycare was the republican alternative.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It was - until Obama was for it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttplug,

    If only the GOP had proposed a serious alternative.


    Yeah, like:

    "I'm going to rape you in the ass!"
    "I propose a serious alternative: You fuck my mouth instead!"

    Whenever Statist fucks talk about "serious alternatives," know that they're never serious about it.

    But all they could puke out was bullshit about state lines and tort reform - basically nothing.


    Notwithstanding the fact that ending the barriers between state lines (something for which the Interstate Commerce Clause was really written) would make providers compete like Geico and 21st Century do today, or that tort reform would save billions by eliminating most frivolous lawsuits - then, yeah, 'twas nuthin'.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yeah, now you are NOT for states rights. States can require insurance minimums and tort maximums.

    Read the 10th, pal.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttplug,

    Yeah, now you are NOT for states rights.


    I'm for people's rights. The States can go suck eggs for all I care.

    States can require insurance minimums and tort maximums.


    They can also suck eggs for all I care.

    Read the 10th, pal.


    Read the 9th, pal.

  • Calidissident||

    Why am I not surprised the self-described "libertarian" PB is defending Obamacare?

  • ||

    The views expressed in polls voting booths, which demand that people pass judgment on matters about which they may know next to nothing, are not necessarily well informed or well considered.

    Also: fuck you, Frank!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Aww man, Fred Willard arrested jerkin' it in a movie theater.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    What movie was it?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Batman.

  • Paul.||

    Spanking the Monkey

  • Paul.||

    Did he go with Pee Wee Herman?

  • Paul.||

    Actor Fred Willard, perhaps best-known as a dog-show announcer in the movie "Best in Show," was arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd act at a Hollywood adult theater and later fired from his work on a PBS series.

    Libertarian sentiments aside, who leave the house for porn anymore? Hasn't Willard heard of this new thing all the kids are looking at?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Maybe that was the arrest dunphy made yesterday that he refused to tell Jim about.

    No, it definitely was.

    HA! HA! *ala Nelson Muntz*

  • Almanian 1||

    I still remember him best for his work in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (or the "Fernwood 2 Night" derivative, whichever).

    That show was so weird, I don't know how it ever made it on TV during that era. But totally worth if for giving the US Martin Mull and Fred Willard.

  • playa manhattan||

    He's 78 years old. Good for him.

  • jason||

    This health care is being in the news from long time and only god knows when it exists in the history of america.

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