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More polls show health-care reform gaining popularity

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The Kaiser Family Foundation is the latest survey outlet to see positive movement on the health-care reform bill. In their May poll, 41 percent approved of the bill and 44 percent didn't. Their June poll has flipped to 48 percent approval and 41 percent disapproval. That's the fourth poll in a row to show improving numbers for the legislation: The AP and Gallup polls both flipped from plurality disapproval to plurality approval, and the NBC/WSJ poll registered a slight (2 percent, which is within the margin of error) improvement in the bill's numbers, but remained at plurality disapproval.

These are fairly small changes in the numbers, to be sure. But then, the numbers on health-care reform were always fairly closely divided. It's possible we're just seeing random shifts in the same direction in multiple consecutive polls, and if so, future surveys will bear that out. For now, I looked at Pollster.com's aggregation of health-care polls, and the last time the bill did this well was in September of 2009, right after the president's big speech.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 30, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

Interesting side-effect of the relentless negativity of the Republican noise machine, isn't it? Once something is out of the news, there's nothing much for the public to remember.

Posted by: vagueofgodalming | June 30, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans had their Death Panels (TM Sarah Palin) Disinformation National Tour conclude a little too early for the midterms and the 2012 elections.

Posted by: mariewilson11 | June 30, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

It was predictable that the public would warm up to the Health Care bill as it rolls out. Even those who presently support repeal will moderate as provisions of the bill fail to fulfill the Armageddon predicted by the Republicans.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | June 30, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

haaaaaaaaaa win.

sometimes i wish i could just give the president a hug and tell him to do his thing, because history will remember him favorably.

Posted by: chaechristine | June 30, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

It is a little over exactly 3 months since the passage of PPACA a.k.a Obamacare. Pollster's average is now down to less than 1-point spread, here--

http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/healthplan.php

--and even the RealClearPolitics average spread has narrowed dramatically, from over a 12-point average spread against it in the week after passage, down to 6.8-point average spread against it, now.

There has been very little public explication of the provisions of Obamacare, and so this is probably the result of emotional subsidence.

In fact, at the time of the bill's passage I predicted that the lines would CROSS by this moment, just because of Lee's Three-Month Rule of Emotions in Politics: which states that, even though new emotions are strong and they seem timeless so you think they will last forever, in reality emotions always subside, and in three months everything always looks different.

Well the averages haven't crossed -- but I'll cite the 0.1 spread on Pollster as vindication anyway, because there has been little public acquaintance with the provisions of Obamacare so far.

This ought to be encouraging for the Democrats. As people find out about the law, the polls are likely to go to a majority in favor. Even Scott Rasmussen said this might happen, and he should know: his "opposed" numbers were including people who were opposed because they want the bill to be more liberal.

That is one reason the Republicans quickly toned-down their "repeal" rhetoric, though they occasionally fire off little noisy stinkbombs to see if they can still incite the rubes.

On the other hand, what percentage of the population opposes Obamacare because they want it to be more liberal, i.e. to have at least a nonprofit public option? From various polls taken around the time of passage, it looked to be around 12-13%.

That is a huge number of potentially reachable voters and they were never likely to be voting for repeal.

That figure is as big as the negative spread on RealClearPolitics in the week after passage! And the narrowing of the spread could be partly the movement of some of those people to the undecided column, particularly if they've begun to realize that the listing exchanges make it very easy for a nonprofit to market itself.

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | June 30, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

With Obama's relentless campaigning and left-wing media like WaPo keeping anti-voices mute, it's no wonder the attitudes are changing. Wait until the companies that regular people work for tell their employees the company will no longer offer the same policy. And Obama's monotonously repeated words will publicly turn into the lie it always was, "If you like your current health insurance, you'll be able to keep it."

People who know anything about the health insurance industry knew that policies would not stay the same under the new federal regulations and requirements under Obamacare. Attitudes will drastically change when people realize that their health insurance will either cost them more or they will have to rely on the federal government to regulate and run health insurance programs.

The feds are not very business savvy. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both bankrupt and now owned by we taxpayers -- and they lost some $7 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2010. Yes, in three months, the feds running these two mortgage firms lost $7 billion dollars of your money. The same thing will happen to fed-run health insurance. Coincidentally, the U.S. Post Office lost $7 billion, but it took a year. Government is very proficient at losing money.

Obamacare will last about three years, when a new president will sign the repeal bills.

Posted by: RonKH | June 30, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

RonKH: "Wait until the companies that regular people work for tell their employees the company will no longer offer the same policy."

Wait until the employees realize that the company spending on their healthcare is part of their employee compensation package, and so it is owed to them as an immediate boost in their wages and salaries.

Which they can then use to buy a much more competitive health plan on the new listing-exchanges.

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | June 30, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

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