A new Washington Post/ABC News poll out today confirms what we all pretty much already knew: Obamacare is not very popular. In fact, the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, hit a new low in popularity in its latest poll. It follows a two-week flurry of mostly negative attention targeted toward the bill.
A whopping 53 per cent of Americans now oppose the law, compared with only 39 per cent that are in favour of it. These numbers did not change much from the last WaPo/ABC poll before the Supreme Court oral arguments, but the new low is significant.
Two-thirds of people think that the high court should either strike down the law or at least the individual mandate portion.
In a separate but troubling find, half of the public expects the Supreme Court judges to rule on partisan political views. Only 40 per cent of those surveyed expect a ruling based on a strict legal interpretation.
The low point in the polls comes after several momentum-swinging events. The most prominent of those, by far, were the historic three days of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the law and its signature provision, the individual mandate requiring individuals to purchase health care. Going into the arguments, most legal experts thought the law would be upheld. That swung quickly.
Then, Obama faced some backlash because of the virtual “dare” he gave the Supreme Court to overturn his law.
“Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” he said in a press conference the following week.
Then a Rasmussen poll foreshadowed the latest lack of popularity with Obamacare. The poll found that Supreme Court favorability ratings had swung dramatically in March, as a response to the oral arguments, backlash against Obama, or both.
“I think we’re seeing as much as anything a response to the coverage of it,” Rasmussen said. “… When you have a CNN legal expert [Jeffrey Toobin] come running out and saying, ‘I know two days ago I said they were sure to uphold this by a wide margin, and now I’m sure it will be defeated,’ people assume there was something significant to that.”
And could popularity dip even lower after the latest bombshell yesterday? Talking, of course, about the study that has Obamacare exploding deficits by $527 million over the next decade.
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