A new USA Today/Pew poll on Obamacare is out today. According to the fine print on the poll, "Three years after President Obama signed his signature health care overhaul, Americans are as negative toward it as they have ever been, and disapproval of the president on the issue has reached a new high."
What inferences can we draw from this poll result? Well, here's the first paragraph of USA Today's write-up on the poll:
WASHINGTON -- Republican lawmakers have failed in dozens of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll shows just how difficult they have made it for President Obama's signature legislative achievement to succeed.
Later in the article, the debate over Obamacare is framed this way:
Opponents say the law's own shortcomings are responsible for its travails. "This program is not ready for prime time," says Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., chief sponsor of a bill passed by the U.S. House last week to delay the exchanges until additional anti-fraud measures are put in place. (Like dozens of previous House-passed measures on Obamacare, it isn't expected to pass the Senate.)
When Obama signed the law more than three years ago, supporters predicted Americans would embrace it as some of the most popular provisions went into effect, including measures that have helped seniors pay prescription costs, protected children who have serious medical conditions and enabled young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
But that turnaround in public opinion hasn't happened, at least not yet.
It's more than a little odd that the article doesn't acknowledge that the law was deeply unpopular before it was passed, and Democrats insisted on passing it anyway. Supporters may have predicted it would become popular, but there was scant evidence that it would later be embraced following the initial public opposition. It is quite a stretch to to suggest Republican attempts to repeal the bill—which are broadly reflective of the public's sustained dislike of the legislation—are making it difficult for the law to succeed.
It is tiring to complain about media bias, but it remains omnipresent and obvious.