Morning Jay: Where is the Public on Obamacare?
6:00 AM, Mar 30, 2011 • By JAY COST
Bill Kristol argued:
Meanwhile, Juan Williams asserted:
So, that's three different takes on Obamacare: no change and a split between supporters and opponents; no change, significant opposition; change toward the supporters.
What to make of all this?
The most recent poll from Gallup showed a split of 46-44: 46 percent said passing the bill was a "good thing," while 44 percent said it was a "bad thing." These are about the best numbers you can find for Obamacare, at this point. Indeed, the other numbers from Gallup are not that good. Just 39 percent said they thought it would improve health care in the U.S. and just 25 percent thought their own care would improve.
There have been other polls that have found mixed news for Obamacare. For instance, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in January found that 39 percent thought that passing the bill was a "good idea," and 39 percent thought that passing it was a "bad idea." Earlier this month, Bloomberg found that 41 percent thought it should be repealed, 42 percent thought we should wait to see how it works, and 12 percent thought it should be left alone. Meanwhile, the Kaiser poll found that 30 percent want to "expand" the bill, 21 percent want to keep as is, and 39 percent want to repeal it.
Against this data, we can look at the results from RealClearPolitics, which averages polls that ask the straightforward question whether respondents favor or oppose repeal. The numbers on this front are not good at all for those in support of Obama's health care overhaul.
These numbers are generally, but not uniformly, terrible for Obamacare. What is especially helpful about this is that there is a relatively consistent question asked across the polls -- and unlike the NBC/WSJ question, for instance, it is direct and to the point on the political issue.
Another direct question is whether or not respondents approve of President Obama's job performance on the health care issue. And here, the numbers are quite negative: see CNN (41-58), Bloomberg (44-50), Quinnipiac (40-56), and Gallup (40-56).