A new Kaiser poll finds that just 24 percent of uninsured Americans have a favorable view of Obamacare, while 47 percent of the uninsured view it unfavorably.
Thus, two uninsured Americans dislike Obamacare for every one American who likes it. And the ratio becomes slightly more damning when the question to the uninsured is whether they see themselves as better or worse off due to Obamacare. 30 percent say they are worse off; 13 percent say better.
Kaiser’s numbers represent an erosion of support of Obamacare among the uninsured. In December, 36 percent of the uninsured favored Obamcare while 43 percent viewed it unfavorably.
By December, the disastrous rollout of Obamacare had been well-publicized. What was happened since to sour the insured even more? Perhaps increased knowledge about what Obamacare plans cost and what the deductibles, etc. look like.
In this sense, the only thing worse for the Obama administration than a failing website is a website that works. It reminds me of the journalist who complained about the acoustics in the Senate because they enabled him to hear every word that was said.
It’s not terribly surprising that the uninsured aren’t enthusiastic about Obamacare. Broadly speaking, the uninsured have consisted of non-poor people who, with the exception of those with pre-existing conditions, opted not to obtain health insurance (there are, though, poor people who are uninsured because they don’t take advantage of Medicaid). Having made that decision, they can be forgiven if Obamacare left them cold once they realized they were going to have to pay for Obamacare plans.
To be sure, Obamacare offers subsidies to many who opted not to purchase insurance. To the extent that word of the subsidies gets out, which hasn’t yet happened to the degree the administration had hoped, it causes some of the uninsured to view Obamacare favorably, assuming confidence in the program (a dubious assumption, so far).
But for many, including some who are eligible for partial subsidies, the obligation to purchase health insurance (on penalty of being “taxed”) remains unwelcome. And, as Kaiser’s polling shows, the more that is learned about the plans that can be purchased, the more unwelcome the obligation becomes.
Obamacare has created a new of class of uninsured — those who have lost their insurance because it wasn’t gold-plated enough to satisfy Washington. I assume that this cohort, which will grow significantly, wasn’t deemed “uninsured” in the Kaiser survey. I also assume that it overwhelmingly disfavors Obamacare.