Not a Chance! CNN Anchor Cites Polls to Say Public 'Pretty Evenly Split' on Obamacare

CNN's Carol Costello said public opinion of Obamacare is "pretty evenly split" when recent polls are showing a double-digit gap between support and opposition of the law, with more people opposing the law than supporting it.  

"Well most of the polls I've seen, it's pretty evenly split, right?" Costello interrupted her guest Will Cain, who had argued "Almost every poll now, over 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare and why wouldn't they?"

"It's pretty evenly split," Costello insisted. However, CNN's last poll on the health care law from May shows 54 percent opposing the law, with only 43 percent favoring it – an 11-point gap. A CBS News poll from last month shows 54 percent opposing the law with only 36 percent favoring it – a massive 18-point gap.

Two separate NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls show the same trend. One poll from July had 47 percent opposing the law with a mere 34 percent supporting it. Another poll from May showed 49 percent opposing, with just 37 percent in favor.

Costello's false assertion on Wednesday morning follows an episode from last week when CNN's Piers Morgan threw out a completely false "fact" to disparage his guest's pro-gun argument. He later admitted it was "inaccurate" and apologized. Costello was also challenging her conservative guest's attack on Obamacare.

Will Cain, a CNN political commentator, argued that opposition to Obamacare has been growing:

"A small minority that still supports Obamacare spouts off cliches like 'health care is a right' and 'if you have it I should have it,' while a growing majority symbolized by that crowd, sees that it's falling apart. Almost every poll now, over 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare and why wouldn't they?"

(H/T Mediaite)

Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on CNN Newsroom on August 21 at 10:42 a.m. EDT:

CAROL COSTELLO: Ted Cruz says hey, Obamacare is causing a lot of young people to lose their health care. And in part, he's right because a lot of companies are opting out of paying health care because of Obamacare.

WILL CAIN: Right. We just saw the news this morning that UPS is dropping the spouses of something like 15,000 employees, and they're blaming specifically Obamacare. Carol, you know what's awesome about the clip that you just played of the heckler and the Ted Cruz rally is that it really begins to embody the current status of Obamacare. A small minority that still supports Obamacare spouts off cliches like "health care is a right" and "if you have it I should have it," while a growing majority, symbolized by that crowd, sees that it's falling apart. Almost every poll now, over 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare and why wouldn't they? As deadlines are missed and problems mount up, Obamacare simply – the truth of it is starting to become very apparent to everyone.

COSTELLO: Well most of the polls I've seen, it's pretty evenly split, right? Jason Johnson?

CAIN: Over 50 percent.

JASON JOHNSON: Yeah, look. I mean, look –

COSTELLO: It's pretty evenly split. And on the other hand, that you could say that some companies are opting out of paying health care for their employees, but there are alternatives under Obamacare for those young people to get insurance, right Jason?

JOHNSON: Yeah. You can stay on your parents' insurance longer. Look, it's not perfect policy. I don't think anybody thought it was perfect policy. I don't even think liberals thought it was perfect policy. But the President was actually trying to do something about the rising costs. There are certain states or certain parts of New York where it seems to be working fine. I can talk about my own college where it's actually increased expenses. So again, there are going to be people who have concerns. But Ted Cruz and Republicans like him who want to focus their entire rhetoric for the next 18 months on defunding Obamacare, they're not helping their party and they're continuing this idea that they're the party of no. They have to have a better alternative than just "we hate this policy."

COSTELLO: And he's right about that, because the establishment – the establishment – you know what I'm talking about, Republicans here, they don't like the idea of shutting down and defunding Obamacare, because polls show that most of the American people will blame Republicans if the government shuts down.

CAIN: That's a political analysis, though Carol, largely uninteresting to me. Jason's analysis that we have a problem with health care – and yes, Obamacare is imperfect – amounts to just do something, do anything, it doesn't matter if it's imperfect or it doesn't work. Just do something. And that is a big problem because for many of us, we see this is a seminal point in American history. You are attempting and clearly failing to restructure one sixth of the American economy. I don't blame you for not being able to do that, I blame you for trying. It was an impossible task.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014