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Screenshot of CNN polling results
Obamacare kicked in ten weeks ago, and the sky hasn't fallen in. Despite some serious hiccups along the way, the law is pretty much working as it was intended without causing a catastrophe. Now that people are getting more used to the idea, it's also gaining some popularity. Not a ton, but the trend is positive, and when those who think the law doesn't go far enough to reform our system are added in to those who support the law, it gets majority support.
According to the poll, 39% of Americans say they support the health care law, up from 35% in December, a record low in CNN polling. The uptick of four percentage points is within the survey's sampling error. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they oppose the measure, down five points from December.

"Not all of the opposition to the health care law comes from the right," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-nine percent say they oppose the law because it's too liberal, but 12% say they oppose it because it's not liberal enough."

That means half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it doesn't go far enough. Roughly 6% oppose the law but don't have an opinion on whether it is too liberal or not liberal enough.

Most of the support was gained among college-educated people and those making $50,000, a good demographic to have on your side politically. Will that make Republicans rethink their approach on Obamacare? Probably not, but it does make life more complicated for them. It also shows that it's smart politics for Democrats to keep campaigning on the law, but to talk about how they want to make it even better.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (43+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:15:40 AM PDT

  •  And dare I ask... (11+ / 0-)

    Did the poll include numbers on whether Americans want to see Congress waste even more of taxpayers' time & money on 50 more repeal votes?

  •  Obamacare is the Law-good news. (9+ / 0-)

    "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

    by appledown on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:36:18 AM PDT

    •  we will still have to wait (0+ / 0-)

      and see what happens when the rest of the provisions are implemented. That some have been delayed for several years hence could mean that they are not expected to be popular when in place.

      Likewise we have to see what happens to insurance premiums going forward. If there is a death spiral, opinions will change.

      Too soon to call a success or a failure. Some things that get off to good starts become failures, some things with inauspicous starts emerge as great sucesses.

  •  By the time Obama leaves office the ACA will (8+ / 0-)

    be the new normal. People will be accustomed to the idea of shopping for health insurance on exchanges, and of pre-existing conditions no longer being an impediment.

    I can't really wish for a GOP win in 2016, but it would be extremely amusing to watch a new Cruz administration attempt to repeal the ACA. The blow-back would be surreal.

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:52:20 AM PDT

    •  I'm hoping for the Dems to take the House back (7+ / 0-)

      this year so for the next two years we stand a chance of implementing some more good policies.  I don't discount the Senate still blocking many things because when the Dems retain the Senate (and if the Dems do well enough to take back the House they will also retain the Senate) there will be enough Blue Dog Senators that will insist upon allowing Republicans to filibuster all bills (thereby saving them from having to vote for Republican ideas).

      If the Dems can have both houses of Congress, there will be an opportunity to fix some of the ACA issues.  If not, it will be gridlock through 2016.  It will probably be worse as everyone waits to see who the next President will be, and then there will be more gridlock, and so on, through 2016 at least.

      •  Speaking of fixes needed... (0+ / 0-)

        it is actually surprising to me that popularity has edged up among those making $50K as the cut off for the subsidies for these individual policies is $49K.

        So these are people in what another D-Kos-er has called the subsidy cliff.

        Extending the subsidies even for those making more, or at least making a soft landing as incomes rise to $100k is one fix I think would be fair.

        After all, employees get subsidies even if they make good salaries, they don't face a subsidy cliff at $49K. Why should we self-employed types have to?

        Thanks Democrats! My Obamacare is permanent coverage no one can take away - and saving $3,000 is nice too

        by sotiredofusernames on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 04:05:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We'll see it in 2015 with a GOP Senate and House. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, shoeless, Mr MadAsHell

      Obama can wield the veto pen, and then we regain the Senate in 2016 under HRC.

  •  These black and white polls are ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

    There should be at least 3 options, with one to cover the people who think there needs to be a health care option that doesn't subsidize insurance companies.

  •  So 39% + 12% = 51% who think that... (5+ / 0-)

    ...the old healthcare system was not "the best in the world".

    57% - 12% = 45% who think it was.

    I hope someone eventually asks that question.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:06:11 AM PDT

  •  I wish to God the 'not far enough' types ... (8+ / 0-)

    Would realize polling is a political battle, and take the side of the law when asked.  It irks me to no end.  

    CNN throws those figures up there and it looks terrible.

    And I'm willing to bet almost all of the other disapprovers are a legion of Julie Boonstras who still believe in death panels and forced cancellations.

    •  How dare they have left wing opinions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew, Pablo Bocanegra

      They should think about PR strategy and messaging when asked how they feel!

      •  That's what I said. (4+ / 0-)


        The ACA is the best we could get despite the Peter-Pan fantasies; it took 70 years; it can be built on.

        But hey -- it's not perfect and it (gasp!) doesn't disband insurance companies.  So yeah .. tell pollsters it sucks.  The GOP needs ammo.

        I wonder if the hard-core liberal disapprovers ever took a look at the original Social Security bill.  They sure would have slammed FDR, that poseur.

    •  But not all people who think it's not liberal (0+ / 0-)

      enough support the ACA at all.  I have friends like this who wanted single payer and hate the ACA with as much passion as those on the right but for a different reason.  They see it as a give to the insurance companies and a capitalist system but with a mandate to participate in it.

       I personally don't feel this way, although I didn't want it but rather wanted single payer or at least a public option.   I see it as a way to an end result.  Now if the ACA because status quo and we never journey toward the end of single payer, and soon, you will also find me one who hates it in time. For now, however, I support it wholeheartedly until I see that this is a stopping point. I do know plenty of people who simply disagree with me on this and have had many lively discussions about it with students and friends.

  •  And About That Regressive Taxation (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry for a sour note but has no one ever noticed the  atrocity of further amplifying taxation that takes money from the least prosperous, youth, and gives it to the richest, we seniors?

    Given a choice of evils, I always the select the one I haven't tried before.  -  Mae West
    I do as well but we still have a horribly expensive and shoddy healthcare system that could be easily remedied.

    Best,  Terry

  •  Answering polls isn't always intuitive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was once polled about guns.

    The questions were

    1 - Do I want gun regulation reduced?
    2 - Do I want current gun laws enforced?
    3 - Do I want additional gun laws?

    Duh. I'd like to start enforcing the laws we have on the books already, pretty please? There is no point in creating additional laws that won't be enforced. So that's what I chose.

    After I hung up, I realized I'd just been put in the gun nut demographic.

    So don't be too hard on those who answer they don't like Obamacare (because it doesn't go far enough).

    Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

    by pucklady on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:25:14 AM PDT

  •  Ah, so an opinion poll that asks 'why' shows split (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I suspect the same thing is occurring on all those issues we're so sure America is to the left of the Dem party on.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:34:46 AM PDT

  •  Obamacare popularity will continue to grow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Right did a good job of trashing the ACA, but when you base your attacks on lies it seldom is a permanent thing. The ACA's popularity will continue to grow because it will actually help make millions of peoples lives better.  I have no doubt that before President Obama leaves office, his signature program will be too popular to hurt.  Look at how long the Right has been trying to hurt Medicare, that other healthcare program that remains very popular and is so hard to touch.  Mark my work the ACA will add itself to list of popular programs that are untouchable.

  •  Good for the Program, Thin Gruel for November (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Negatives persist among the midterm turnout voter pool, as trash talking wingers ignore the young demographics who don't vote.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:48:51 AM PDT

  •  Is "opposes" or right/left the right dynamic? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JJ In Illinois

    I really like dislike the law because I think it's badly conceived and implemented, and doesn't addresses the biggest issues with American health care, but that's not the same as opposing the goal or even wanting the law repealed.

    I think it's a bad law, but it addresses some very real problems well enough to be better than the former status quo.

    Kind of like holding your nose and voting for a candidate because it's as close as you're going to get to somebody you like.

    I'm not at all sure where I would fall on one of those surveys, or if I would even answer the same way on a Monday and a Thursday.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:51:15 AM PDT

  •  "We can't go back." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes

    That's a winning political message.
    "We can't go back to letting insurance companies deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions or kick people off their coverage when they get sick." A solid majority of people do not want to repeal the ACA and go back to the pre-ACA mess.

  •  Democrats need to be better at messaging (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats need to be better at messaging. The Betty of Spokane's out there -  and other well-funded liars - still seem to rule public impressions as 57% disapproval is still a terrible number.

    Why don't we have more testimonials from people who have SAVED money, like so many people I know? Or people with preexisting conditions who had been unable to get insurance until now?

    Polls show that people like individual elements of the ACA when asked about them but don't like "Obamacare" - why don't Democrats get out the word, better than we seem to be doing, that these things they like ARE ALL DUE TO OBAMACARE?

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:21:56 AM PDT

  •  Perception of ACA Is Not Stagnant (0+ / 0-)

    Will change over time (should be for the better). Hate to see pundits make 2014 predictions based on that. Also self-defeating for Democrats in close races to try to distant themselves from it.  If people perceive it as a disaster come November than if you are A Democrat in a close race you are done. If it changes for the better than supporting it is the best way to differentiate yourself from your opponent. It is the better bet.

  •  I know there are the cross-table (0+ / 0-)

    stats to look at, but pollsters really have to start doing a more complete job on the topline on this issue. We need to not have this be a binary question (yes, I realize that all right-leaning pollsters want it this way, for obvious reasons); there are very good reasons for not liking the ACA as implemented, but the only good ones are coming from "the left" of the issue, as others have been pointing out above. Instead of having to tease them out by digging beneath, we need to fund polls that "topline" the real reservations people have.
    Does the ACA go too far or not far enough (with a middling answer available, also)? That's the real poll we want to see--and get reported on, of course.

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:47:56 AM PDT

  •  "Obamacare kicked in ten weeks ago"?? Really? (0+ / 0-)
    Obamacare kicked in ten weeks ago, and the sky hasn't fallen in. Despite some serious hiccups along the way, the law is pretty much working as it was intended without causing a catastrophe.
    No, it didn't.. it's been delayed.  yet again..

    It kicked in for the people who needed/wanted it most - i.e the sick and uninsurable, and in some states, the poor.  There never was going to be a catastrophe with those groups.

    The catastrophe comes when employer and individual mandates kick in fully and when all the grandfathered policies become disallowed.

    Save this diary for a few years.. it may hold true when ACA finally kicks in.. although I doubt it.. it's a pretty shitty law.

  •  Obamacare support is slowly getting better. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, Calamity Jean

    The Republican Governors have placed themselves in the role of villain. More of their constituents are questioning them, in their stubbornness in being denied affordable healthcare. As the Right implodes and the Koch brothers become more exposed, the numbers will keep improving.

  •  IMHO (0+ / 0-)

    a) they will live to regret the evil Lee Atwater decedent who coined "Obamacare", and
    b) thus ending for the foreseeable future serious attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Ain't that a shame...

    Political Science of the future will use it as an example of a real misplay.

  •  It's identified as the "CNN ORC POLL" (0+ / 0-)

    in the upper left-hand corner of the screenshot. Given that orcs are a notoriously conservative demographic, I think a 39% approval rating is spectacular!

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho

    by DocDawg on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 03:15:46 PM PDT

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