For a while, backers of last year's health care overhaul have argued that it will become more popular as more people are exposed to its benefits. In particular, they've hoped that the supposed consumer protections that were front-loaded into the law's implementation schedule would bolster the law's sagging popularity.
It hasn't happened. A new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests one reason why that might be the case: "Only 20 percent of people believe consumer protections will get better under the law, while most others think protections will stay the same or get worse."
Of course, it's probably a mistake to refer to the law's many new requirements as "consumer protections" at all. As Cato's Michael Cannon wrote at the beginning of the year, the law's myriad mandates "force consumers to divert income from food, housing, and education to pay for the additional coverage. That can leave consumers worse off, even threaten their health. They can also force employers to reduce hiring, leaving some Americans with neither a job nor health insurance."
ObamaCare's consumer protections haven't always worked smoothly at the state level either.