Obamacare's Very Bad Week at the Polls



Last week, as a sort of prologue to the rollout of the big marketing push for Obamacare, President Obama gave a brief speech touting of the law's provisions. There wasn't much new in the speech, which consisted mostly of familiar White House talking points about the health law. A small part of the emphasis, though, was on the ways the administration says the law will help ordinary, middle-class Americans. For those folks, Obama said, "the law is working the way it was supposed to."

But as we close in on the start date for Obamacare's coverage expansions, the middle class increasingly seems to disagree. A National Journal/United Technologies poll released earlier this week found that 49 percent of respondents said they believed the law would make things worse for the middle class, while just 36 percent said they thought it would help. That represents a big drop in expectations for the law in less than a year: Last September, 45 percent thought it would help.

Americans aren't just skeptical that the law will help the middle class, generally. They're skeptical that the law will help them, as individuals. In a CBS News poll out this week, 38 percent of respondents said they thought the law would hurt them personally. Just 13 percent thought it would help. About 40 percent thought the law would have no impact on them personally. That's not a huge blow for the law, exactly, but it probably works against the administration overall: How supportive will those Americans be of a law they see as making no difference in their own lives?

Nor is that the only bad news for Obamacare in polling this week. As both J.D. Tuccille and I noted, The Washington Post published a report yesterday finding that support for the law had dropped amongst moderate and conservative Democrats. Support amongst that group has dropped by 11 points since last year. Support amongst more liberal party members still remains strong. But overall, support amongst self-identified Democrats as a whole has dropped from 68 percent to 58 percent in the last year, according to The Post.

Washington Post/ABC News

In the speech on Thursday, Obama lamented that "despite all the evidence" that the law is working as intended for the middle class, Republicans in the House had once again voted to dismantle the law. "We're refighting these old battles," he said. "Sometimes I just try to figure out why. Maybe they think it's good politics." If so, I suspect they are correct. 

NEXT: Battle Over Obamacare Could Lead to Government Shutdown

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  1. This is a very popular law, really. People just don’t know how much they like it, because the emperor hasn’t explained it well enough, yet.

    1. As fun as it is to gloat over this to liberals, it is even more fun to gloat over this train wreck to conservatives and Libertarians, who should have known better, who said back in 2010 this bill was some kind of free pony machine that would be wildly popular and give the Democrats a permanent majority. Ah, not so much.

      1. Was anyone here saying that?

        Its possible but I missed it. I thought we were universally predicting disaster?

        1. Go back and read the threads from 2010. There were a lot of people who claimed this bill was going to be popular and take us into the long dark night of socialism. Hell just yesterday John Thacker was on here claiming that once the subsidies kick in people will like this bill and it will be impossible to repeal.


          Also, the usual concern trolls on the Right, people like Douhat and Brooks, claimed in 2010, the Republicans were doomed because they didn’t vote for the bill so they could take some of the credit.

          1. My fear, is that team red, in their unending quest to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, will somehow derail the personal mandate, allow Obama to continue with his possibly unconstitutional delay of the employer mandate, and allow this train wreck to just continue creeping along.

            Don’t touch it, GOP, you ignoramuses, leave it the fuck alone, the Dems own it!

            1. That is my fear too. Don’t touch it until it totally kicks in 2014 and then talk about it after the elections.

            2. But Obamacare has been the ONE area where the GOP hasn’t been the stupid party. Remember, they all voted against it. That was huge and lead to massive 2010 victory. So they may just avoid fucking this up. Maybe.

              1. Nuh-uh! Olympia Snowe voted for it in committee! So it’s bipartisan! In fact, it’s really a Republican idea because, you know, Brookings Institute!

                Check and mate!

          2. “it will be impossible to repeal.”

            What odds will you give me that, should the GOP take the House and Senate in 2014 that Obamacare will be repealed?
            I know several conservatives, who give significant amounts to GOP candidates, who’ve said they really like the feature that allows 26 years old children to stay on parents policy, and the feature that allows one to wait until one has a serious pre-existing condition until signing up for coverage.

            1. What odds will you give me that, should the GOP take the House and Senate in 2014 that Obamacare will be repealed?

              Obama will still be POTUS, so it’s a moot point, they can repeal it all they want.

              The more important question is how do they overcome the veto?

              1. “Obama will still be POTUS”

                Unless they can lean on his IRS underling enough to flip on him, anyway.

          3. Funny that even back in 2010 Tony was a lying steaming pile of shit.

      2. Permanent majority talk is always bullshit. I remember in the early 2000s when the Republicans were going to have a permanent majority. I didn’t believe it then either.
        And who didn’t know from the start that Obamacare was going to be a fucked up piece of crap that didn’t even work very well to do what they claimed it would do?

        1. Until there’s an actual coup, we’ll keep going back and forth, even if one or both parties gets replaced by some other party. It’s because nobody is going to keep a majority happy forever.

          Note the way we’re switching back and forth more rapidly these days, too. Obamarama lasted, really, for less than two years. He’s been a very lame duck ever since 2010.

          1. Pretty much. And the POTUS elected in 2016 will be the most personally appealing and positive. Ideology is second to those.

          2. 2014 should be interesting. I’m guessing we’ll see another swing back towards team red, but you never know.

          3. That we’re switching more rapidly is a serious cause for hope.

            1. Eventually we’ll hit a resonant frequency and explode.

      3. Mark Steyn’s cries of doom were way over-egged.

      4. Of course no Libertarians wanted this law either.
        The only way this law would be popular would be if it actually produced the results it promised.
        That seems unlikely, as the arithmetic just doesn’t and can’t add up.
        That fact will reveal itself in short order, as will whether the public en masse really likes this law.

    2. “False consciousness!”

  2. We find out in a couple of weeks just how bad it’s going to get next year. HR has been dropping hints all summer that premiums are going up, deductibles are going up, and coverage is going down. The last set of hints were scary as shit.

    1. I really think the country is going to go into revolt when the bill hits for this thing. People’s insurance are going to double or more. I can’t think of any other government program that has hit so many people so hard at one time like this. And Obama and the Dems own this. There is no way to shift any of the blame for it. They have no choice but to try and tell people not to believe their lying eyes. I don’t think that is going to work very well once people see the rate increases.

      1. You will be wrong yet again, dipshit.

        1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXHwIrEpeSQ


          Let it out shreek. Did CVS refuse to fill the proscription on your meds? Doesn’t the state give you those for free?

          1. to be fair, CVS probably lost the script.

        2. Yes shriektard, any day now Obama will find the Magic Words to explain how wonderful ACA really is. Right after you stop gobbling his cock.

      2. I bet it gets repealed. The compromise will be to give some sort of cover to the Democrats in Congress.

        1. I bet it does too. The interesting question is what does Obama do when a bi-partisan bill repealing Obamacare hits his desk in 2015? Does he veto?

          1. Damn, I wish there were someway I could escrow bet your always-wrong dumbass 100G on that.

            1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXHwIrEpeSQ

              BUSHPIG!!! CHRISTFAG!!!

              Maybe you should try chewing on something like the side of the box you live in until these fits pass.

              1. Maybe you should try chewing on something like the side of the box you live in until these fits pass.

                My name is SugarFree and I approve of this insult.

            2. I will happily hold your funds in escrow until this bet is settled. My fee is 5% of the wagered amount.

              1. 5%? That’s outrageous.

                1. What would you charge?

          2. I gotta go with PB on this. A lot of people are getting subsidies for this and when was the last time our politicians were willing to kill an entitlement?

            1. They have to become entrenched, first.

              I certainly agree with the theory of entitlement lock, but that isn’t what is going on here (yet).

        2. The cover will be that they won’t SAY they are repealing it. They will just pass a law “fixing” it by allowing high-deductible plans and expanding the 3-1 premium spread to 7-1.
          Either that or they just keep delaying it, indefinitely, year after year. That should work good as a cash cow.

      3. We have already been told that our current plan would trip the Cadillac-tax in 2018, so they’re scaling back the plan starting in 2014. And costs are still going way up.

        I have many liberal friends I may not be able to talk again to after we get the bad news.

        1. You are not alone. And the funny part is some of the people worst hit by this are Union members. It is going to be fun watching the Dems explain that.

          1. The union folks are getting fucked worse than the professional staff. It’s the only satisfaction that I get out of the situation.

            1. The only satisfaction? What, you don’t take satisfaction in knowing that your kids are growing into a world where the quality and cost of their healthcare will be utter crap?

              1. I say this way too much, but it really is incenting us to be healthy.

                /Sumerian god silver lining

                1. No, it will incentivize a black market — nothing more; nothing less.

                  1. I hope so! Quality and service are great in every black market that I patronize…

        2. then again, you will have empirical evidence of their wrongness.

      4. “They have no choice but to try and tell people not to believe their lying eyes. ”

        Isnt that what they are doing already? Or their lying noses. No matter how much Barry polishes this turd it is still going to smell.

        Oh, speaking of turd polishers, look who showed up.

      5. The revolt may easily take the form of people just not paying the IRS penalty, when they refuse to pay for something they dont’ want.

  3. “Just yesterday, state officials in New York announced that average premiums for consumers who buy insurance in their new marketplace will be at least 50 percent lower next year than they are today.”

    OK; but, for the sake of discussion, if next year this turns out to not be true, what penalties are in store for those state officials?

    1. It’s New York, they’ll be promoted/re-elected.

  4. That chart looks like a knife. Make sure your kids don’t take it to school, or they’ll be spending some time on ice with that little terrorist who fashioned a “gun” from a cookie or piece of bread or whatever it was.

    “Pew, pew, pew!” “STAB!” “TERRORIST!!!”

  5. Amazingly, Red states like Indiana report premiums will rise while Blue states like CA and NY say that premiums will fall while coverage increases.

    Who could have predicted that?

    1. I could have predicted that blue states would lie about it. How about you, buttplug?

      1. NY and CA also already had extremely high rates, I think. So even if the rates go down once, they are still higher than anywhere else.

        1. All this says is that PPACA is a little bit better for blue states than for red states. Given that it was entirely written by blue politicians, did you expect a different outcome?

          1. That was aimed at PB, not Zeb.

          2. Buttwipe has no expectations. He is just venting his delusions and trying to follow his handlers orders to lie for Obama and throw as much of his own shit on the thread as possible.

          3. All this says is that PPACA is a little bit better for blue states than for red states.

            What’s lost on all of this is that the exchanges don’t actually lower the real cost of healthcare–it’s just disguised through subsidies.

            I suspect that in about 5 years, the receipt-to-outlay ratio will be as bad as the one Medicare and Medicaid are currently experiencing.

            1. Oh sure. But the goal was never to reduce the cost of healthcare. It was to make more people dependent and possibly to ruin the healthcare system completely.

        2. Most of the premium-increasing provisions are already active in Blue states, but the mandate portion (the primary thing that attempts to keep costs) typically is not. It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

      1. Due to the limit on links, I am going with a Shreek!? collage.

        (It’s a slow day.)

    2. What, that blue states would lie about Obamacare? Um, everybody?

    3. Because NY already has an incredibly fucked up health insurance market, thanks insane coverage mandates and guaranteed issue.

      1. This. New York and California already went through the insurance death spiral, thanks to idiot community rating and guarenteed issue laws.

        New York essentially doesn’t have and individual market for health insurance. It’s easy to bring rates down when they are well over $1000/month for an individual.

  6. What happened in early 2012? There’s a big jump in support by liberal democrats. Something about primaries maybe?

    1. They are towing the lion a bit better than I expected given that pretty much all of them want single-payer. What this poll tells me is that only about 15% of liberal Democrats are actually principled.

      1. I really think there’s something more hive-minded about people on the left. The fact that they all think in solidarity, while creepy, makes sense as an explanation for why they support socialist policies.

        1. “Solidarity” is their chosen motif, is it not?

          That’s all I need to know about someone…

  7. They did the math and realized that if insurance rates double or triple that it won’t matter if they are subsidized at 60% of the price.

  8. I think one of the under-reported aspects of this will be people just showing up at hospitals/doctors offices expecting free care. they won’t know about the exchanges or they’ll bail on the enrollment process (which although “streamlined” will be a clusterfuck)

    1. Streamlined = one fuck up wrecks everything. Like wiring your house circuits in series instead of in parallel.

  9. What happened in late 2012 that caused liberal Democrats to spike their disapproval (oppose), then had a rapid drop in opposition? Some kind of sales campaign going on?

    1. correction: Early 2012.

  10. This is too awesome. Especially since I fucking hate the Packers.

  11. Just yesterday, state officials in New York announced that average premiums for consumers who buy insurance in their new marketplace will be at least 50 percent lower next year than they are today. Think about that — 50 percent lower.

    Think about that: Predictions. Predictions based on fabrications. Fabrications based on wishful thinking. Wishful thinking based on copious amounts of fairy dust.

    Think about that.

    Dan Hart, who’s here, from Chicago, had read these rebates were happening. But he didn’t think anything of it until he got a check in the mail for $136. And Dan is a father of two, and as any parent will tell you, those kids, they suck up a lot of money. (Laughter.) Am I right? (Laughter.) Absolutely. So he used his rebate to pay some bills.

    Dan could have saved some money if he had dragged his woman to Dr. Gosnell’s and had her abort the little clumps of fetal tissue.

    Now, I recognize that there are still a lot of folks — in this town, at least — who are rooting for this law to fail. Some of them seem to think this law is about me. It’s not. I already have really good health care.

    Hurr-hurr-hurr. It’s good to be the king, isn’t it?

    1. So he used his rebate to pay some bills


      Just exactly how many bills can you pay with $136?

      1. One.

      2. Jug ears might actually believe this line of BS. Being king and not having to pay any bills for the last 5+ years, having no idea what anything costs today, he probably thinks ‘Ol Dan really cleaned up.

        Cost of living is cheap where I live and I can hardly get out of the grocery store anymore for under 200 bucks, though I admit I have expensive taste in food.

    2. As a New Yorker, my response is thus – Even if my premiums fell 50% from today, they are already up to 250% of what they were in 2010. I’d still be at 125% of by baseline before the worst of the law hit.

    3. Anonymous Coward| 7.24.13 @ 1:29PM |#
      “Just yesterday, state officials in New York announced that average premiums for consumers who buy insurance in their new marketplace will be at least 50 percent lower next year than they are today. Think about that — 50 percent lower.”

      I don’t see a link, but this has been discussed.
      No, there is no magic; NY’s insurance rules are fucked up beyond Obozocare, so in some few instances (seems ~17,000, out of a population of 19.5M) there will be a reduction.
      Everybody else takes it in the butt. And naturally, the sleazy, cherry-picking apologist you’re quoting would really rather not mention that.

  12. CUTTING HOURS TO 30 WILL NOT WORK! Why isn’t anyone calling bullshit on this? A company CAN NOT hire 500 30hr/week employees and avoid the ramifications of the ACA! If a company exceeds the number of man hours worked in a year by 50 people working 40 hr/week (104,000) then they are going to be considered over the 50 full time worker limit. Reason please get this fact out!

    1. Because no one is claiming otherwise?
      As I understand it, yes the company will then have to provide insurance (or pay the fine; let’s be honest) for the “full-time” workers, but not for those under the limit.

      1. Not claiming otherwise? Reason has done a number of articles talking about how companies are cutting hours to 30 to avoid going over the 50 limit. Even governments are doing it. As I understand it if you’re over 50 you’re over 50 and have to provide insurance for everybody or pay the fine on everybody. You don’t get pass on the first 50. So if you have hundreds of employees cutting their hours won’t help you at all.

        1. Well, to be fair, companies could be doing that based on that mistaken assumption, especially smaller companies that don’t have a legal team to check these things. In which case, it’s still relevant in explaining the impact on workers.

        2. My understanding, based primarily on articles that I have read in Reason, is that hours are being cut back by organizations way over the 50-employee limit in order to reduce the number of employees entitled to benefits. I do not recall ever thinking that the claim you are making — that having hundreds or thousands of part-time employees is a strategy to stay below the 50 employee limit — was correct.

          Is it possible that you misunderstood the articles you were reading, did a little bit of research, gained a more accurate understanding of this issue and are now haranguing us and Reason due to your comprehension slip?

          1. I don’t understand your point. Are you saying they aren’t cutting hours to stay below the limit?

            1. I was saying that you lack reading comprehension and are projecting that onto the rest of us. Thank you for confirming my suspicion.

    2. Ice, Ice. Baby. There’s two different things going on here. One is the 50 FTE count, which is unaffected by how many employees actually make up that 50 FTE and is unaffected by the gaming around 30 hours. That 50 FTE count is what makes you subject to OCare generally.

      However, the particular penalty provision that was put off has to do with how many employees with more than 30 hours week you provide “adequate” insurance for. For that provision, its game on for cutting people’s hours.

  13. I’m sure they are doing it based on that mistaken assumption that’s why I said Reason needs to do an article about it.

    1. Hold on I think there are two issues here: 1) which companies are subject to the employer mandate, and 2) which employees “benefit” from the mandate.

      Company A employs 100 workers at 40 hours/week
      Company B employs 200 workers at 20 hours/week

      Both companies are subject to the law, because they employ more than 50 full-time workers or “equivalent”. But are you saying that company B is required to provide health insurance to all 200 of its part time employees? IANAL, but I don’t think that’s right, and this is the reason why it would be advantageous for employers to cut workers’ hours.

      I’m perfectly willing to admit I may be wrong on this.

      1. Let’s say company C has 50 employees working 40hr/wk and 100 employees working 20 hr/wk. As I understand it, the employer would need to provide health insurance (or pay a fine) to the 50 full-time employees but not the 100 part-time employees. So there’s an incentive to be more like company B.

        1. As I said I don’t think that’s right. Basically from what I read (didn’t save the article darn it) if your business has more than 104,000 man hours worked for the year you are over the 50 limit and have to provide insurance or pay the fine. In other words the IRS is going to look at total hours worked and divide by 52 then divide by 40 and that gives the number of employees. If that number is over 50 you have to provide insurance or pay the fine.

          1. With this change, you are correct:

            you are over the 50 limit and have to provide insurance for employees working more than 30 hours/week or pay the fine.

    2. IceTrey| 7.24.13 @ 2:23PM |#
      “I’m sure they are doing it based on that mistaken assumption that’s why I said Reason needs to do an article about it.”

      You’ll forgive me if I find your certainly misplaced.
      The people doing this have skin in the game; believe me, they are getting the best advice they can.
      You, OTOH, have an opinion of their motives.

  14. His law is a tax that requires us to have insurance. How it can be touted as affordable or a healthcare bill is beyond the scope of any rational reasoning or thought. This man is a moron. Ignorant beyond his rise to the top of the Peter Principle pyramid of incompetence.

  15. It’ll never get repealed. You will pay more. Medical practitioners and facilities will get paid less. Patients will receive sub-standard care. And there will be nothing anyone’s going to be able to do about it. The real purpose of this train wreck is the complete Governmental takeover of your healthcare. Because having every citizen’s health in their pocket considerably advances the goal of the total subjugation of the American populace. For the greater good, of course.

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