Policy

Wasn't ObamaCare Supposed to Be Popular By Now?

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Politico declares th

Who would've thought that ObamaCare might not quickly become popular?

at "rarely have so many political strategists been so wrong about something so big" and runs down various on-the-record predictions made by Democratic health care supporters about how, once passed, the law would quickly rise in popularity and help team-D come November:

But when it comes to the health care bill, everyone from former President Bill Clinton on down whiffed on some of the more significant predictions.

Democrats would run aggressively on the legislation? Nope. Voters would forget about the sausage-making aspects of the legislative process? Doesn't seem that way, as the process contributed to the sense that the bill was deeply flawed.

And Clinton's own promise to jittery Democrats that their poll numbers would skyrocket after the bill finally passed also didn't pan out, as the party is fighting for its life in the midterms.

At the six-month mark, the law remains a riddle for political analysts, lawmakers and the White House.

It's not actually that much of a riddle, I think. As I've argued since before the law passed, there was never much reason to expect that its popularity would quickly turn around. Despite spending months involved in intensive outreach and messaging campaigns both before and after the law's passage, Democrats still seem to think that the problem is that the public doesn't understand the law's benefits. But there's some evidence that much of the public aware of the law's major benefits. The problem, I suspect, is that they're also aware of the law's costs. And, as a Zogby poll released the month before the law passed seemed to indicate, much of the public seems to think that despite the perks, which they like, the costs of the law outweigh the benefits.