A new poll suggests that Obamacare is more popular now than it has ever been. Apparently while the GOP made their stand in the House of Representatives and shut down the federal government for 16 days in an effort to defund and devalue existing law (the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010), their efforts may have had the opposite effect. With more people trying to find out what the fuss was all about and the continuing government efforts to educate people as to the actual parameters of Obamacare, education seems to have resulted in the health care program gaining in popularity.
As Salon reported Oct. 18, a survey released by Quinlan Greenberg Rosner indicates that Obamacare had a 62 percent favorability rate. It was noted that this is a 6 percent increase over the September CBS News/New York Times poll that indicated that Americans favored the law (56 percent) and wanted it fixed.
Those who wanted the law repealed and/or were opposed to Obamacare stood at 38 percent in both polls.
The overall gist of the report suggests that as people become more familiar with Obamacare, they find they have less opposition to it. As each stage of the implementations go into effect (the Affordable Care Act encompassed several programs that were launched at various intervals), public opinion has swung from a general distrust to a guarded acceptability.
“We know from the implementation, that as people are seeing benefits, that people are favoring the law,” pollster Stan Greenberg said in a teleconference this past Wednesday.
As more and more people find out that Obamacare isn’t the end of the world as we know it or the tipping point for the downfall of the United States as a viable democratic entity (and that it and the Affordable Care Act is one and the same, not separate systems altogether ), it appears that it is becoming more popular.
Of course, this hasn’t stopped the Republican Party (and conservative organizations, Tea Party affiliates, and Fox News Channel) from not only attempting to repeal the law over 40 times (see comedian Stephen Colbert’s hilarious “try, try again” takedown of the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act) but also attempting to paint Obamacare as the end of the American experiment, not to mention labeling it as the worst thing since slavery . Nor has the growing rush to become less ignorant about Obamacare stopped the law’s opponents, like talk show host Sean Hannity, from manufacturing false and misleading evidence as to how Obamacare is destroying the lives of average Americans.
No, it would appear that the Republican focus on getting rid of the Affordable Care Act has only provided a focusing of attention on the law and a general education of the public at large as to what said law actually entails. By engineering a government shutdown over what adds up to fears about what might happen if Obamacare does not work, and despite the fact that such a government shutdown would hurt millions of Americans and potentially impact the economy in a negative way, the Republicans did for the Obama administration and Obamacare proponents what they had been unable to do with all the resources at their disposal — educate the public about the Affordable Care Act itself.
And as has become rather apparent, the world isn’t ending, the economy isn’t crashing, and the United States isn’t dissolving.
Who knew when Sen. Ted Cruz and his tea party-led cohorts in Congress decided that shutting down the government was preferable to allowing a 3-year-old law to be implemented that a good number of the American people would basically stop listening to the extremist hyperbole and turn to finding out more about Obamacare? And who would have dreamed that doing so would lead to a rise in the popularity of said legislation? Democrats might have, but it is doubtful they could have foreseen such a total collapse by the GOP .
And then to also see Obamacare rise in popularity? Dreamed, perhaps. No way the dreamers thought the dreams would be actualized…
The Republican Party also recorded its lowest approval rating in history during the shutdown, a reflection of what happens when politicians rely too heavily on ignorance and the ignorant for support — support that tends to evaporate when people are moved — through confusion and anger and frustration — to become a little better educated.