One of the biggest surprises to President Barack Obama’s political operatives must be the ongoing unpopularity of “Obamacare.”
The president continues to describe the law as his “signature achievement” — presumably more important than even the economic stimulus. Yet despite dozens of speeches on the subject from The Great Persuader, and the decision to tilt the law’s benefits so they take effect immediately while postponing the costs, the health care law continues to draw a thumbs down from a majority of Americans.
By 50 percent to 42 percent, the public believes “Obamacare” is “a bad thing,” according to a recent USA Today survey, a ratio that has remained remarkably steady in the two years since its passage. Over that time, studies have demonstrated that the law will increase, not decrease, health care premiums and will likely push tens of thousands of workers into government-run exchanges.
Both outcomes run counter to Obama’s central promises that, first, the law will slow health care cost increases and, second, allow workers to keep their current health plans.
The controversy over the administration’s decision to require all insurance plans to provide contraceptives and abortifacient drugs only deepens public anxiety about the law. Apparently, religious freedom is yet another inconvenience to the implementation of “Obamacare.”