ABC Poll Finds Health Care Law Is Massively Unpopular, Network Offers Scant Coverage
A December 13 ABC News/Washington Post poll found Barack Obama's health law at a new low in popularity, but Monday's World News and Tuesday's Good Morning America offered only meager coverage of the development.
Released the same day a Virginia judge ruled part of ObamaCare to be unconstitutional, the only mention on Monday came when Jake Tapper briefly highlighted the findings. At the end of a segment on the court ruling, he explained, "And, Diane, an ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows the health care law at its lowest level of popularity ever. Just 43 percent support with 52 percent opposition, just weeks away from the Republican House taking office."
On Tuesday's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos talked to his friend and former Clinton White House colleague James Carville. Stephanopoulos allowed, "And we have a new poll out just yesterday, showing that public support for health care is the lowest it's ever been."
Referencing the judge's ruling and the incoming Republican House majority, he worried, "How much time and energy can the President and his team afford to invest in this fight?"
The poll was not mentioned again on the show during subsequent news briefs.
A partial transcript of the GMA segment, which aired at 7:11am EST, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's move on to health care. Dana Loesch, let me bring you in here. A federal judge in Virginia, Judge Hudson, yesterday, said the government doesn't have the right to require people to buy health insurance. A powerful argument. But the White House is quick to point out that two other courts have upheld the law. How big a blow is this?
DANA LOESCH (editor in chief, Bigjournalism.com): I don't think that it's -- I was pleased to see Judge Hudson's- his actual interpretation of the law, because it is unconstitutional, the Commerce Clause and the way that it's used. And it's kind of illogical, too. But, with regards to the other two cases, it's interesting to note that the other two judges that passed verdicts on this, as well, they did not go as in depth with this case, as Judge Hudson did. They didn't have opinions that were as in depth as Judge Hudson's. They hadn't read over the law as much as judge Hudson had. And they were- someone would argue they were Clinton appointees. So, it was a little bit partisan. But, I'm going leave that to the side. Frankly, Judge Hudson, the judge was right in this case. You cannot, you cannot viably use the Commerce Clause with regards to forcing people to purchase a product from the government.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, James, I think there have been partisan judges on both sides of this.
CARVILLE [Laughs]: Yeah.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, when you look at where the White House stands now on health care, they're fighting on so many fronts. They're fighting in the Congress. They're fighting in the courts. They're fighting in the states. And we have a new poll out just yesterday, showing that public support for health care is the lowest it's ever been. 43 percent for the President's reforms. 52 percent oppose it. How much time and energy can the President and his team afford to invest in this fight?
CARVILLE: Well, I guess I could point out that the judge that decided this was a Bush judge. But, I'm not really going to say that. [Carville laughs. Loesch laughs.] Look, this thing is people watch the health care go through a tortuous fight through the Congress, through the House, through the Senate. And now, we're going to have what appears to be an equally tortuous fight during the courts. And I suspect reading everything I have, it will be a while. But it will get to the Supreme Court. And it will be decided one way or another. People aren't knowing if they're going to get it. And who knows if provisions are going to be there. And how long it's going to take. So, this is the way our system works. We're along for the ride. We'll do a lot more shows on this issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm sure you're right about that. Meanwhile, Dana, more than 80 votes in the senate for the tax cut compromise. It looks like it's heading towards passage. But, I was struck by Mitt Romney in the USA Today this morning, saying the tax cut is a bad deal. Why is a potential candidate for president coming out against this?
LOESCH: Well, it's interesting, because the right is sort of split on this tax cut compromise. And I, myself, I find reasons to like it and find reasons why I don't want to support it. But, with Mitt Romney, I think it's interesting. There are other people, Sarah Palin has spoke about the tax cut compromise. Jim Ryan has discussed it. Mitch McConnell has discussed it. I think the bottom line is that we need to realize, Republicans have to get some kind of strategy. I don't think they're clear. Jim DeMint has been the most forthcoming about any kind of strategy, passing something retroactively, a tax decrease that way. But we'll see. All I know is that small business owners, middle-class people like myself, are a little frightened to see what's coming down the pike after the first of the year. Because there's been inaction for so long.
STEPHANOPOULOS: James, ten seconds left. Democrats in the house, ready to pass this thing now?
CARVILLE: Yeah. My daddy used to say when he would fix us supper, you have to eat it because you've got to eat it. And they're going to eat it because they've got to eat it.
— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.