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Friday, October 28, 2011

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Support For Obamacare Down

By Susan Duclos

Remember when Nancy Pelosi spoke about passing Obamacare, against the opposition of the majority of Americans and with no support from Republican lawmakers?

She said "We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It"

Video below for those that did not see her say it.

Well, she was right, people did have to wait for the passage of Obamacare to find out what was in it.

Now that the general public is starting to see what is in it, support is dwindling even more, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking poll:

After remaining roughly evenly split for most of the last year and a half, this month’s tracking poll found more of the public expressing negative views towards the law. In October, about half (51%) say they have an unfavorable view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), while 34 percent have a favorable view, a low point in Kaiser polls since the law was passed. While Democrats continue to be substantially more supportive of the law than independents or Republicans, the change in favorability this month was driven by waning enthusiasm for the law among Democrats, among whom the share with a favorable view dropped from nearly two-thirds in September to just over half (52%) in October.

Americans are more than twice as likely this month to say the law won’t make much difference for them and their families as they are to say they’ll be better off under the law. Forty-four percent say health reform won’t make much difference to them personally, up from 34 percent in September. Meanwhile 18 percent say they and their families will be better off, down from 27 percent last month. (The share who thinks they’ll be worse off personally held steady at roughly three in ten, where it has been since the law passed in 2010.) Here, too, changes in views among Democrats helped shape the overall change.

This is before the general public start feeling the effects of many of the 20 separate tax increases embedded into the Obamacare health law, some of which will not even go into effect until after the 2012 presidential election.

In 2010, White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, "I think that health care, over time, is going to become more popular."

As recent polling suggests, that was no more than wishful thinking on the part of the Obama administration.

Should Americans vote to replace Obama with a Republican president in 2012, repealing Obamacare is promised to be an uphill battle and may end up having to be repealed in pieces.

[Update] The Hill reports more bad news for Obama and Democrats regarding Obamacare:

The poll caps several weeks of bad news relating to the law.

Late last month, Kaiser released its annual report on healthcare premiums showing a 9 percent hike in family premiums this year. Rather than driving premiums down by $2,500, as President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign, the healthcare law is responsible for about one sixth of that increase, according to Kaiser.

And earlier this month, the administration announced that the law's long-term-care CLASS program was unsustainable and that it was dropping it. The move has infuriated many of the law's supporters, who feel the Department of Health and Human Services hasn't been honest about its intentions.