Poll: People hate Obamacare, but they hate defunding it even more

I do enjoy the polls on Obamacare.

I’d written three years ago about how people hated “Obamacare,” but loved its elements:

When asked about Obama’s plan (without being given any details about what the legislation includes), 49 percent opposed it and 40 percent were in favor. But after hearing key features of the legislation described, 48 percent supported the plan and 43 percent remained opposed.

The NEWSWEEK Poll asked respondents about eight health-care-reform provisions that Obama and many Democrats in Congress have generally supported. It found that the majority of Americans supported five of those provisions, three by particularly large margins.Eighty-one percent agreed with the creation of a new insurance marketplace, the exchange, for individual subscribers to compare plans and buy insurance at a competitive rate. Seventy-six percent thought health insurers should be required to cover anyone who applies, including those with preexisting conditions; and75 percent agreed with requiring most businesses to offer health insurance to their employees, with incentives for small-business owners to do so.

And another poll found the same thing last year.  People hated the name – the concept – of the law, rather than the law itself.  The specifics of the law, they loved.

Contradictory? Indeed.


Then another poll last year showed that people didn’t like, or understand, Obamacare – but they didn’t want it repealed either.

And now there’s a new poll showing that people don’t want Obamacare defunded either.  And in fact, they hate the idea of defunding it even more than they hate the law itself.

More from Kaiser:

Roughly half the public (51 percent) continues to say they don’t have enough information about the ACA to understand how it will impact them and their family, a share that has been fairly steady since 2010. The share who feel they don’t have enough information is particularly high among Hispanics (64 percent), the uninsured (62 percent), young adults (62 percent of those ages 18-25), and those with lower incomes (60 percent of those with family incomes less than $40,000 a year).

Further, a large share remains confused about the law’s status, with 44 percent either thinking the law has been repealed (8 percent), overturned by the Supreme Court (5 percent), or unsure whether it remains the law or not (31 percent).

Yes, 44% don’t even know if the law is still on the books?  Are we a great country or what?

Now for the poll’s findings on defunding Obamacare:

Public opinion on the ACA as a whole continues to tilt negative this month, with 37 percent saying they have a favorable view of the law and 42 percent expressing an unfavorable view, shares that have held relatively steady since February of this year.

Still, a majority of Americans (57 percent) say they disapprove of the idea of cutting off funding as a way to stop the law from being implemented, a finding that has been consistent in Kaiser Health Tracking Polls since January 2011. Republicans and those with an unfavorable view of the law overall are more likely to approve of attempts to defund the ACA, but even among these groups, about a third (34 percent and 33 percent, respectively) say they disapprove.

According to Kaiser, people think Congress should either repeal the law, or not pass it in the first place. But the appropriate response is not cutting off funding.

Of course, that’s exactly what Republicans have been talking about doing, cutting off funding for health care reform.

And what’s worse, Republican leaders are now talking about using the debt ceiling fight to force the President to defund Obamacare, or the Republicans will force the US government to default on its debt, sending the world economy into chaos.

In the case of Obamacare, House leaders have been trying to talk their members into claiming victory on sequestration cuts and abandoning the effort to defund the health care law. But assuming that won’t appease them (and it won’t), GOP aides have floated using the debt ceiling, instead of the government shutdown, as the bargaining chip. An aide to Eric Cantor told Reuters yesterday that the debt limit provides a good “leverage point” to try to force action on Obamacare.

Swapping the debt ceiling hostage for the government shutdown hostage, while even more dangerous, had the benefit of buying GOP leaders some time — or at least it did until the debt limit deadline got moved up.

Having a hard time paying your bills?  Threaten to kill the neighbors.

And the Republicans wonder why they’re having a hard time winning elections.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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