By Will Patrick, JMI Capitol Reporter
Posted March 22, 2012
No, it’s not a communications problem and Americans aren’t dumb. Two years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act narrowly passed a purely partisan Congress, the “Obamacare” health care law remains as unpopular as ever.As evidenced by a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 67 percent of Americans think the Supreme Court should invalidate the entire 2,000+ page regulatory scheme or at least the individual mandate component that requires every American to purchase health insurance or pay a fine.  Other recent polls have found similar results. Rasmussen: 17 percent more disapprove than approve; Quinnipiac: 13 percent more disapprove than approve; the Associated Press: 20 percent more disapprove than approve.In fact, the PPACA has never polled a majority of support, or 51 percent favorability.  Currently, Americans oppose the law in its entirety 52-41 percent, a significant spread given the bipartisan desire for health care reform.  The White House and prominent congressional advocates attribute the law’s unpopularity to negative messaging by political opponents.  But opposition to the law clearly runs across party lines.  Here’s why:DEBT.  Just last week the Congressional Budget Office calculated the PPACA to cost $1.76 trillion, nearly twice as much as the initially promised $900 billion during passage of the bill.  The CBO also determined that the expanded effects of the law will reach $2.6 trillion by 2020, grossly contradicting the President’s claim that the law will “bend the cost curve down.”ECONOMY.  In the last two years, a bipartisan group of independent economists and statesmen, including George Shultz, Michael Boskin, and John B. Taylor wrote in several national newspapers and magazines that in order for the economy to approach full growth capacity there must be a moratorium on federal regulations.  But the Obamacare regulations continued, causing massive economic uncertainty. Consequently the country has endured the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression.REGULATION.  The recent contraception mandate directing religious institutions to provide birth control—contrary to their spiritual convictions—is but an example of the power the PPACA affords the federal government.  People have noticed that the health care law isn’t just about health care.Regardless of political orientation, Americans have seen something very different than what they’ve been told, and poll after poll has shown that they don’t like it.