A new NPR poll finds that Obamacare is more popular than President Obama and the approval numbers for the landmark healthcare legislation is rising.
Our survey of likely voters, conducted for Morning Edition by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, shows the president’s health care law is still unpopular but it might not be as heavy a millstone for Democrats as expected.
After a horrendous debut in October, the Affordable Care Act ended its enrollment period with more than 7 million people signed up. And our poll shows the law is viewed a little more favorably now. That’s welcome news for the Democratic half of our polling team, Stan Greenberg.
“The conventional wisdom that it’s an unpopular program that hangs around the necks of Democrats is absolutely a misreading of the poll data,” he says. “If you look at this poll for NPR, we asked whether you favor or oppose the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. It comes out 47 percent support and 51 percent oppose, with the intensity on the opposition side.”
In our poll, the number of people who intensely oppose the law is 12 points higher than those who strongly support the law — bad news for Democrats. But, Greenberg points out, 7 percent of likely voters in our poll oppose the law because it doesn’t go far enough — presumably these are Democrats who wanted a single payer Medicare-for-all system. Whit Ayres — the Republican half of our polling team, points to other data that suggests Obamacare will still be a great issue for Republicans this fall.
“First, more people oppose than support Obamacare, as has been the case since it passed. Second, the intensity is on the side of opposition and intensity drives voting behavior,” he says. “Third, independents oppose Obamacare by 21 points in this survey and they hold the balance of power in this election.” Source: NPR
This latest news could work against the Republican Party, with lawmakers hellbent on repealing the legislation, though they have not put forth an alternative. Sen. Ted Cruz engineered a government shutdown last year over defunding Obamacare.