Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 10:49AM
EDITOR’S NOTE: "There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase erroneously credited to P. T. Barnum (1810–1891), an American showman. It is generally taken to mean that there will always be many gullible people in the world.
When checking out the latest Kaiser Foundation poll on Obamacare, one is inclined to agree with this aphorism. Putting it another way, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Polls come under this rubric!
The public is woefully ignorant, especially GOP inclined voters, believing that Obamacare is a socialistic import from Europe when in fact the law is a copy of what Mitt Romney passed and signed as Governor of Massachusetts.
The GOP big lie is alive and well. The US health care system is a mess. But if you try to reform it, you’re going to be accused of being un-American or worse. Where does the blame end – at the feet of the idiot voters!
So in the end, if the Supremes vote NO on Obamacare, the American public will get what they richly deserve, NOTHING but the same old, same old broken health care system which rewards the free riders and the medical industrial complex.
Key Findings of the April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll:
The April poll gauged Americans’ opinions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the wake of the Supreme Court oral arguments in the legal challenges to the health reform law in March.
The increased public attention to the Affordable Care Act generated by the Supreme Court’s consideration of the law did not meaningfully change the public’s opinion of the law overall or of the specific provision at the heart of critics’ legal case against it, the requirement that nearly everyone obtain health insurance. Forty-two percent say they have a favorable opinion of the law this month and 43 percent have an unfavorable one, a division virtually unchanged from March.
Similarly, the individual mandate is as unpopular as it was in March, but not more so. Seven in ten Americans oppose this provision, including 53 percent of the public who say they hold "very unfavorable" views of it. Overall, half of Americans (51%) believe the court should rule the mandate unconstitutional, identical to March. The full finding from the April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll are available at http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/8302.cfm.
The Supreme Court challenge did appear to have an impact on Americans’ sense of familiarity with the ACA, however. In April three in four Americans (74%) report they are aware that the individual mandate is part of the health care law, up from 64 percent before the Court heard oral arguments last month. And the proportion who feels they understand how the law will impact them jumped to 51 percent, up 12 percentage points from March. Overall, half the public reported following news about the Court challenge at least fairly closely in April, up from 37 percent last March.
Although most Americans (63%) don’t expect to have to change anything about their health coverage when the mandate takes effect in 2014, nearly three in ten (28%) do believe they will have to make some change to their current insurance arrangements. Among the latter group, three times as many say they will be worse off (20%) as say they will be better off (6%) after making that change.
The proportion of the public expressing a high degree of confidence in the Supreme Court rose from 23 percent to 31 percent in the last month, driven by a big boost among Republicans, who overwhelmingly disapprove of the ACA and perhaps are responding to the tough questioning about the law by some of the justices.
This month, 43 percent of Republicans report having "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the Supreme Court, up 19 percentage points from last month. Meanwhile, the share of Democrats who express confidence in the Court did not change (29% in April vs. 28% in March). Confidence among independents -- which at 21 percent in March was the lowest among the three groups -- was up by a small margin to 28 percent in April.
There was a noticeable jump in the proportion of Americans saying that the justices’ analysis and interpretation of the law would play the most important role in their decision in the case: 30 percent say so in April, compared to 19 percent who said so last month. This vaulted this factor to the top of the list, above "whether the justices’ themselves hold liberal or conservative views," which now ranks second, at 21 percent. Here, too, the change was driven primarily by Republicans. Among Republicans, a clear plurality of 39 percent say that legal interpretation and analysis will drive the Court’s decision, whereas last month the plurality said that it was the justices’ own ideologies that would be the main factor in the decision
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy analysis, health journalism and communication, is dedicated to filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing our nation and its people. The Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation, based in Menlo Park, California.