During the past two months, most of what we've heard about the Affordable Care Act was the administration's announcement on March 31 that the target total of more than 7 million people had signed up for ObamaCare, and by May 1, that figure had grown to 8 million enrollees.
However, four polls were released during the past week that resulted in the same message: ObamaCare isn't getting any more popular -- and probably won't in the future, according to an article published in Tuesday's edition of the Washington Post by reporters Scott Clement and Aaron Blake.
The newsmen began their story by stating that “a barrage of national polling has reached the same verdict: ObamaCare's Rocky Balboa-esque announcement that 8 million people have signed up for health care has done absolutely nothing to reverse the law's basic and long-standing unpopularity.”
The surveys they referred to were conducted by the Pew Research Center/USA Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation, a Post-ABC poll and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, all of which “found little lasting changes from earlier this year” -- when the law's website was not fully functioning.
“The stagnant numbers would seem to fly in the face of the strong publicity the law earned” by reaching and surpassing its goals, they stated. “For a law that had experienced almost nothing but bad news for months, one would think a little good news would lead to at least a little recovery.”
“But whatever momentum the law carried from the sign-ups announcement -- and a later projection that it will actually cost less than previously thought -- has gone by the wayside.” Clement and Blake noted.
The reporters then stated:
The stark numbers are bad news for Democrats, but they also shouldn't be surprising. Attitudes on the law have not fluctuated much since its passage in 2010 and are deeply entwined with long-held partisan loyalties, helped along by a highly political public debate.
What's more, Americans' biggest complaints about the health law are pretty well etched in stone. They existed well before the website's troubles, and the number of Americans who sign up for the law was never the root of the opposition.
Clement and Blake stated that these findings were “laid out clearly in the new Pew poll,” which asked people who disagree with the law the major reasons for their disapproval.
The poll results are quite startling. Eighty percent of the respondents said the law was "too much government involvement in health care,” while 76 percent said the statute is "too expensive for the country.”
Fifty-eight percent cited the law's requirement that everyone must have health insurance, and 57 percent feared their "own health care may suffer.”
Finally, when asked for their most important reason for disliking the law, 42 percent cited "too much government involvement."
“This particular complaint will be almost impossible for the law to overcome,” the reporters noted, and “other complaints about the law are also hard to combat.”
“For example, the mandate for individuals to buy health insurance has long been one of the law's most unpopular features, and while certain aspects of it have been delayed (for small employers to offer plans, for instance), it's not going anywhere,” they asserted.
“Essentially, what happened is that Americans have gotten so used to the string of bad news about ObamaCare that they simply filed away the sign-up news in the same folder,” they said. “And while the White House attempted to play up the news with its "victory lap" news conference, Americans just aren't all that keen on this kind of process story.”
“All of which suggests that the health-care law needs a far more substantial -- and sustained -- string of good news before Americans' perceptions of the law show any real shift toward the better,” the reporters concluded.
Perhaps another reason for ObamaCare's lack of acceptance is the fact that the American people were lied to for years by the president about his “signature legislation.” Barack Obama said we could keep our doctor and health plan if we wanted to – period -- a falsehood named “Lie of the Year” by the Politifact.com website.
Given Obama's tenuous relationship with the truth, I wonder just how many people have actually signed up for the Affordable Care Act, as well as how many have really paid their premiums. Determining those facts would be an ineresting effort -- period.