AP Poll Finds Public Opinion Continues to Run "Deeply Negative" on Obamacare


First, Democrats believed that Obamacare would become popular after the initial furor surrounding the law's passage died down. It didn't die down, and Democrats probably lost the House in the 2010 midterm election as a result. Then the law's supporters argued that once the law's early benefits—for young adults, seniors, and preventive care—kicked in, public opinion would take a turn. The benefits went into effect, but public opinion stayed the same.

Finally, the law's backers argued that once the law's biggest benefit, its coverage expansion, took effect, the law would start down the road to popularity. The coverage expansion kicked in, and for almost six months now, people have been using the coverage they have under the law. It's still unpopular.

An AP-GfK poll released today finds that, while premium sticker shock is not proving a big problem for those who got coverage under the law, many more people still oppose the law than favor it. From the AP's news report:

new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that public opinion continues to run deeply negative on the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature effort to cover the uninsured. Forty-three percent oppose the law, compared with just 28 percent in support.

The poll suggests both lower support and lower opposition than other surveys, but in terms of the gap between support and opposition, it's not an outlier. Here's RCP's poll average for public approval of the health care law over the last year


As you can see, there was a spike in opposition when the exchanges crashed on open last fall. That effect seems to have mostly worn off, but broadly speaking, opposition remains high and favorability remains low.

Meanwhile, the law's supporters are basically out of excuses to explain why it's not popular now but it will be in the near future. The public has been pretty clear from the beginning that, overall, they don't like Obamacare. Now they've spent six months living with its coverage expansion, and they still don't. It's of course always possible that opposition will moderate at some point, but in the near term at least it doesn't seem particularly likely that it will. The law's benefits have kicked in, people are experiencing the effects, and there's no obvious potential turning point left. 

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  1. Bullshit! Shreek told me its the popular!

  2. Those who oppose the general will must be ‘forced to be free’.

  3. Scurrilous lies!

  4. “Popular” is an interesting word. The way I feel is like those tribal women who claw their scalps with their fingernails until blood is running down their heads, all while singing songs of lamentation.

    1. You know who else desired the lamentations of the women….

      1. Elliot Rod… too soon?

  5. On the morning drive I heard a piece on NPR that was very critical of the Unaffordable Care Act.

    It was about a couple who were having a baby. They first went and got federally approved insurance only to find no one took it. Finally they dropped the insurance and used what they would have paid in premiums to hire a midwife, and had an anesthesia-free home birth.

    When they’ve lost NPR you know it’s bad.

    1. Yeah, heard that, too. I was waiting for the “nevertheless” part to kick in.

      1. “Nevertheless, it is President Obama’s signature accomplishment.”

      2. Yeah, heard that, too. I was waiting for the “nevertheless” part to kick in.

        Trust me, that’s tomorrow’s show.

        Personal note: I’m still on my NPR no-listen streak. I think it may be my longest. I’m beginning to flirt with never going back. And I’ve been listening to NPR before some of you half-beards with messenger beards were born. Talk me out of it fellow Hit’n’runners!

        1. messenger bags. Fuck.

    2. I was pricing out COBRA vs Covered CA about a month ago. Even with the “Platinum” PPO, nobody took the insurance. Nobody.

      I am going to tell a Post Script to that story in the PM Links. Long story short, I got home from Memorial Day Weekend, checked the mail, and discovered that I had automatically signed up for public assistance.

      1. *automatically been signed up*

        1. Don’t be so proud, Playa. We’re here for you if you need us (to do absolutely nothing).

          1. I’ll be here for you guys. If I can’t make the checks stop, I’ll be hosting an open bar for any Reason commenters in the area.

      2. My God, it has begun: Involuntary, compulsory welfare.

        1. I’m going to tell the story at length in the PM Links. The most upsetting part is the effort I have to put forth to make it stop.

      3. Why you pricing out COBRA?

  6. Forty-three percent oppose the law, compared with just 28 percent in support.

    Care to hazard a guess as to which side has a greater sub-percentage who have even glanced at *the actual legislation*?

    1. To be sure, one need not read the legislation to abhor its results. The damage it’s done to the rest of us, who didn’t need “help,” is tremendous, and the law hasn’t even really got going on us, yet.

      1. Oh, I get that. However, I suspect that anyone who actually takes a little time to see what the Dems hath wrought would come down in the opposition camp. Moreover, I would hope damagees might be inspired to investigate the BOHICA.

    2. You mean which side tends to do more actual research and which side just Pelosis their way through with vague platitudes and sneers?

      1. Are you serious?

  7. Forty-three percent oppose the law, compared with just 28 percent in support.

    Every one of these polls show that about 1/3 of those “against” are butt-hurt progs pining for single-payer. That is, if they ask why they oppose it.

    1. Citation needed.

      1. racist

      2. I’m going to cautiously agree with Shrike on this one. Cautiously. What that means is I can be easily talked out of it with evidence.

        I have seen polls where alarming numbers of people who were ‘dissatisfied’ with OCare were dissatisfied because it “didn’t go far enough” wasn’t “free enough” and wasn’t single-payer-ey enough.

        1. I’m going to cautiously agree with Shrike on this one.

          I’m not. The polls are available, as is their methodology, and the numbers show maybe 10% of the opposition is because it didn’t go far enough.

          That is, based on the 20 or so polls I read that had that kind of data listed.

          Maybe it’s a little higher or lower, but it’s not 1/3rd or anything close to it.

          1. I don’t remember the numbers I saw, but 10% might be right. All I remember when I saw the polls, I was alarmed.

          2. “Maybe it’s a little higher or lower, but it’s not 1/3rd or anything close to it.”

            I’m going with this; that lying bastard shreek is simply grasping at straws.

    2. Fine, then they can help us repeal the damn thing and argue for what comes next after it is dead and buried. Put up or shut up, Weigel.

      1. If you like your acne, you can keep your acne.

        1. +1 girlfriends in Alaska

      2. Look, the 2012 presidential election was a referendum on the ACA just like you GOPers said it would be.

        1. It hadnt’ yet been implemented, you fucking bonehead.

          That’s so retarded only you could have suggested that.

          1. Hmm, the ACA was LESS popular on election day 2012 than today.


            (don’t fuck with me on polls)

            1. Not even the 8% poll, Weigel?

        2. Yes. An election between the implementer of the and the implementer of the ACA beta is such a clear choice.

          1. The Washington GOPenerals nominated the one person who couldn’t run against OCare. Real referendum there.

            1. But I was told the Tea Party was the reason for GOP failure in 2012! And the reason for AIDS!

    3. Single-payer with mandatory euthanasia for the %1.

    4. If that’s true, that basically means that the score is 40% in favor v. 43% against.

      Which means its less than 8% underwater, which is something.

  8. And 10 years from now public opinion will still be deeply negative, and PPACA will still be with us.

    1. This. Just like the tax code and congress.

    2. We got rid of mandatory busing. This will be the same slog. It will be dismantled bit by bit insubordinate state be state and then scrapped all at once.

  9. Shouldn’t this mean to the Very Proper Adherents of Majority-Rule Democracy that we should immediately repeal the ACA?

    1. Democracy only applies when the majority agree with what the autocrats want.

  10. “Meanwhile, the law’s supporters are basically out of excuses to explain why it’s not popular now but it will be in the near future”

    It’s that dammed “false consciousness”!

    The all purpose general excuse for why people don’t agree with liberals about everything.

  11. Popularity will zoom this fall when the premiums rise and the employer mandate kicks in.

    Just you watch.

  12. Its not going anywhere. Even Republicans now have dropped the “repeal” mantra and are beginning to speak about aspects of the law they will keep. Because if its polls that Peter wants you to take note of, then maybe the most telling is the one where Kaiser asks what the respondents want from their representatives:

    “Which would you rather see your representative in Congress do when it comes to the health care law? They should work to improve the law. They should work to repeal the law and replace it with something else.”

    And 58% said they wanted their rep to improve the law, and only 35% said either repeal OR REPLACE.
    Sadly for you, Peter, most people in this country want an effort from Washington on not only keeping Obamacare, but improving on it and our health care system.


    1. Jackand Ace|5.27.14 @ 5:57PM|#
      “Its not going anywhere. Even Republicans now have dropped the “repeal” mantra and are beginning to speak about aspects of the law they will keep.”

      Keep grabbing at those straws!

  13. A coworker of mine still “can’t believe that anyone would object to Obamacare”. Where do I begin???

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