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Monday, October 21, 2013

Hidden Truth About Public Opinion on Obamacare

One of the many disgraceful aspects of the media coverage of Obamacare--and criticism of it, and the Tea Party faction in general--is the rote depiction of the ACA as "unpopular" or "opposed by most Americans according to polls" because it goes too far or because people are happy with the health care system as is, and so on.  In other words, repeating the GOP line.

Now, those who have supported the law have long claimed that the simple bottom line poll numbers are misleading.  Yes, those numbers generally show that, say, 51% don't like the ACA and only 44% approve.   Yet, as we know (but perhaps most in the media fail to recognize), a lot of Dems and libs are unhappy, wisely, because the law doesn't go far enough, or that President Obama didn't fight for the public option or single payer or Medicare for all.   So how many of them are included in that "oppose" the ACA but from the left?

Polls have indicated there's a fair number but now there's a new one today that CNN actually took the trouble--at the end of its online report, true--to break out.  And, lo and behold, it turns out that fully 12% of those opposed feel the law doesn't so far enough.  So, as they note, that means that instead of just over 50% being against the law because it goes too far--the impression most in the media have left--at least 53% actually back the law or believe it should go further.  And the poll was taken amidst the current widespread complaints about the roll-out of the ACA sign up provisions.

The other numbers in the poll bear this out, as they show that the shutdown caused growing unpopularity for the GOP and John Boehner but Obama's standing remained the same.

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