This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking poll shows that in November favorable views of the Affordable Care Act have fallen to an all-time low (33 percent) with some 49 percent of respondents holding unfavorable views. The write-up of the poll has the following:
In nearly four years of Kaiser tracking on the law, the gap between negative and positive views (currently 16 percentage points) has been this large only once before, in October 2011 (17 percentage points) when the ACA was getting lots of negative attention in the Republican presidential primaries and the country was focused on the upcoming election and the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Interestingly, the drop in support comes mostly from Democrats and women:
The poll also shows that people are actually paying attention to news about people losing their coverage and being faced with increased premiums. This is where the Obama administration severely overplayed its hand. As I noted earlier this week:
And this, in my opinion, is one of the fatal mistakes the administration has made. Most redistributive programs rest on a large group of people paying a small amount to provide large benefits to a small and concentrated number of people. That allows politicians to hide the price of the program from people who are paying for it, while bragging about its benefits. Not so with Obamacare. In this case, a potentially smallish group of younger and healthier Americans — and the self-employed – are going to feel the cost of the law in a painful and concrete way, and they will know where the pain comes from and whom to blame for it. That’s my kind of transparency!
To be honest, I am not sure what the administration was thinking in designing the law the way it did. It may make sense on paper where people can’t respond and express their discontent but the real world is very different.