The November Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows that President Obama's health care overhaul has now hit a lower level of popularity than at any previous time in his presidency. Kaiser writes, "Just a quarter of the public (25 percent) now says they expect their own families to be better off under the health reform law, which is the lowest share since KFF [Kaiser Family Foundation] began tracking this question." Kaiser notes that it began tracking the question in February of 2009, just weeks after President Obama's inauguration.
The survey also confirms that "health care voters" were central to the Republicans' overwhelming victory in the midterms. Such voters – defined by Kaiser as "those who named health care or health care reform as one of the top two factors in deciding their vote for Congress" – overwhelmingly supported Republican candidates, with nearly six in ten (59 percent) backing the GOP.
In addition, the survey shows that there were a whole lot of "health care voters." Kaiser asked voters an open-ended question about why they cast their votes the way they did. The number of people who named health care as being one of the top-2 factors in determining their vote (17 percent) roughly doubled the number who mentioned government spending or budget deficits (9 percent) or general dissatisfaction with the way things work in Washington (8 percent), and it tripled the number who cited taxes (5 percent). Health care was mentioned by more people than any other issue (answers not directly related to a specific issue, such as party identification, candidates' character, etc., were also tallied) except for the economy or jobs, which Kaiser grouped together and which were mentioned by 29 percent of the respondents.
The survey showed that more than four times as many "health care voters" have a "very unfavorable" opinion of Obamacare as a "very favorable" opinion of it (56 to 13 percent), and by a similar margin (56 to 19 percent) they think that – unless it's repealed – their families will be made worse off, rather than better off, because of it.
Not surprisingly, by a wide margin "health care voters" prefer to repeal Obamacare in its entirety (45 percent) rather than to repeal just parts of it (26 percent), keep it as it is (11 percent), or expand it beyond its current 2,700 pages (15 percent). Moreover, 68 percent of all voters support the repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate, the overhaul's cornerstone.