ObamaCare Hits New Lows In Poll

The PPACA has had a rough 2013, and 2014 could be even worse.


The latest CNN/ORC poll shows the Affordable Care Act hitting new lows among the public:

Washington (CNN) – Support for the country’s new health care law has dropped to a record low, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that most Americans predict that the Affordable Care Act will actually result in higher prices for their own medical care.

Only 35% of those questioned in the poll say they support the health care law, a 5-point drop in less than a month. Sixty-two percent say they oppose the law, up four points from November.

Nearly all of the newfound opposition is coming from women.

“Opposition to Obamacare rose six points among women, from 54% in November to 60% now, while opinion of the new law remained virtually unchanged among men,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “That’s bad news for an administration that is reaching out to moms across the country in an effort to make Obamacare a success.”

According to the survey, 43% say they oppose the health care law because it is too liberal, with 15% saying they give the measure a thumbs down because it is not liberal enough. That means half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it because it’s not liberal enough, down four points from last month.

Sixty-three percent say they believe the new law will increase the amount of money they personally pay for medical care, which may not be a good sign for a law known as the “Affordable Care Act.”

The survey also indicates that 42% say they will be personally worse off under Obamacare, with 16% saying the law will help them, and four in 10 saying it will have no effect on them.

Just over six in 10 say they believe they will be able to receive care from the same doctors that they now use, with 35% saying they will not be able to see the same doctors.

Supporters of ObamaCare, no doubt, point to the numbers that say that more than half of those surveyed either support the law or say it isn’t “liberal” enough as something that’s actually good news for the law. Admittedly, that’s a number that it would be foolish to ignore. At the same time, though, the fact that opposition to the law is still hitting new lows and that people surveyed still have little confidence that it will make the health care system better can’t be ignored.

To a large degree, these numbers are a legacy of the problems that we’ve seen with the law since October 1st, and proponents of the law have taken it as a matter of faith at this point that things will improved once people come to realize the benefits of the PPACA. Perhaps that’s true, but there’s also another possibility. Going forward, there are several potential problems that could develop that will only serve to diminish public confidence in the law such as:

  • Higher health care costs even after tax subsidies for premiums are taken into account. Many reports about the policies that consumers have found available on both the Federal Exchange and the exchanges run by the states have noted that these policies end up having both higher premiums and higher deductibles than the plans that people are being forced for one reason or another to abandon. While the premium increases may end up being covered by tax subsidies for many people, that won’t be true of increased deductibles. That means people will end up paying more out-of-pocket for their health care, which could be a significant problem living on incomes that already leave little room for extra spending.
  • Existing physicians not being part of the network covered by new insurance plans. When the Administration was selling the PPACA to the public, the other half of “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Already, there have been anecdotal reports of people who have discovered their existing phyisician(s) will not be part of the network covered by the plans available to them. This means either finding a new doctor, or paying the increased out-of-network cost of health care that results from going to an out-of-network doctor. The same goes for hospitals. Here in Northern Virginia, for example, it has been reported that many of the insurance plans available to Virginia residents do not have the largest hospital system in the area as part of their network. This creates many potential inconveniences or increased costs for people when it becomes necessary to seek admission to a hospital.
  • Consumers discovering they don’t really have coverage. One of the under-reported stories regarding the exchanges has been the issue that insurance companies have, in many cases, not receiving the complete package of information they need to actually open policies for individual consumers. Thus, we could go into January with large numbers of people thinking they have coverage when they actually don’t because back office problems at the exchanges meant that the insurance companies didn’t actually get the information they need to create those policies. The headaches such a development could create ought to be self-evident.

‘It’s possible that none of these problems will occur, of course, or that their impact will be minimal. However, these are just three of the things that could go wrong between now and the 2014 elections that would likely have an impact on closes races, especially those involving red state Democrats such as Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor, and Mark Begich. For that reason alone, the fact that the PPACA is ending 2013, and starting out 2014, at its lowest point in public opinion polls to date is something that should be dismissed out of hand by the law’s proponents. The road ahead could be quite rocky indeed.

FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. edmondo says:

    Pelosi says Democrats will ‘stand tall’ in 2014 in support of Obamacare


    She may be right but there will be so many fewer of them standing after November.

  2. Dave Schuler says:


    On the contrary, I strongly suspect that the story that, sadly, isn’t being reported after the November midterm elections is how little the Congress will have changed. The Republicans might take the Senate. The Democrats might hold it. The Democrats might take control of the House. Or the Republicans might hold it.

    Whatever happens it will be the result of a relatively small number of seats changing hands. Even under present circumstances when Congress generally has an approval rating of 18% and a majority of people disapprove of their own Congresscritters incumbents have an enormous advantage and most will be re-elected.

  3. edmondo says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    It appears you are still in the first step of the grieving process for the Obama Administration – denial.

    You are right on schedule to experience the other emotions in time for the midterms (anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

  4. Pharoah Narim says:

    Doug, Obamacare is similar to what’s referred to in the IT world as a disruptive technology. Your reaction is typical to most people who are going to have to interact with something new “GIMME BACK MY TYPEWRITER!”

    Employer subsidized healthcare is a scam and always was. When it was introduced, it made sense to sell health insurance to workers: THEY WERE THE HEALTHIEST SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION. Medical care was cheap because it wasn’t in high demand. The hospital is where you went to die.

    Nothing you’ve mentioned in ANY of your posts has happened that wasn’t already happening before Obamacare. Rising health costs – check, Canceled plans – check, Not covered when you think you are – check. Please give us once unique problem with the health insurance market that has appeared in the last four years….just ONE. Obamacare makes a convenient scapegoat for bad behavior in the insurance market and you seem to enjoy co-signing this bogus narrative. Its time for this particular shackle to be released…my employer is no more responsible for my health insurance than they are for my home and auto insurance. Those should be individual responsibilities that they compensate me for. If at the very least, Obamacare destroys the current health insurance paradigm–it will have done its job. I would have thought a Libertarian such as yourself could appreciate that.

  5. Pharoah Narim says:

    @edmondo: It appears you didn’t read the man’s post. Or do you see Obama everywhere in everything?

  6. anjin-san says:

    @ Pharoah Narim

    Conservatives did not seem to be concerned when health care costs doubled during the Bush era. I wonder what changed…

  7. Josh says:


    Rather than talk smack, let’s wager. You said “there will be so many fewer of them standing after November.” Aside from your excellent grammar, state a number and let’s wager. Doug has listed a number of potential pitfalls, quickly dismissed the very important number that the negative is weighted by people who want it to be more liberal, and ignores the millions of positives that will be the story the next 10 months. You know, because Librul Media. And Benghazi.

    But pick a number of house and senate seats you think the GOP is taking in November. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

  8. edmondo says:


    Obamacare cost the Democrats the House in 2010.

    It will cost them the Senate in 2014.

    The real question at this point is if it costs them the White House in 2016. If it does, this country is totally and irrevocably fucked for the immediate future. I hope you think that this POS is worth the cost.

    that the negative is weighted by people who want it to be more liberal,

    Why would you assume that those of us who wanted a “more liberal” ACA would vote for anyone connected to the current law? I haven’t voted for a Democrat since they sold out to the insurance companies when they passed this law.

  9. beth says:

    @Pharoah Narim: This, a million times. Not one person here has been able to answer my question about this – why do you care now? You didn’t give a damn for years when all this was happening to people every single day – why do you care now? What’s changed?

  10. Woody says:


    No, no, don’t you understand? Government is always evil, incompetent, and tyrannical. Those who work for the government are the same*. Private enterprise is always heavenly, efficient, and honorable. Every one who works for these private entities are wonderful.

    *as always, IOKIYAR.

  11. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    When it was introduced, it made sense to sell health insurance to workers: THEY WERE THE HEALTHIEST SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION. Medical care was cheap because it wasn’t in high demand. The hospital is where you went to die.

    Employer subsidized healthcare came about as a response to WW2 wage controls. Employers, beginning with Kaiser out in California, were desperate to attract workers from a limited labor pool, but unable to offer higher wages in order to do so. So Kaiser hit on the idea of offering them free healthcare as an enticement instead. It worked.

    It was also never intended to be permanent / last beyond the war, but by the time that Congress tried to kill it in the early 1950s, people raised 30 different varieties of hell and it was too late.

  12. JohnMcC says:

    When we got to checking on the exchange for my wife’s policy there was a pretty strong sticker shock; her individual policy through the Florida Blues will cost pretty close to $600/month. Since the payroll deduction for our family plan through my employer has been a bit over $300 it took some getting used to. We discovered that the employer-paid part of my insurance was almost $1,000. Which is going to be added to my paycheck because I’m going to non-benefit and parttime status. And it’s worth remembering that my cancer-survivor wife (now finished successfully with all her surgeries and treatment, thank to the FSM!) simply would not have had any health insurance options other than my remaining a full time employee until she turned 65 and got Medicare. At which time I’d have been 73.

    Count me among the ‘not liberal enough’ crowd. But what we will have with Obamacare sure beats the previous system.

  13. Stonetools says:

    When I want to find out all the things that COULD go wrong with Obamacare, I check here. When I want to find out what’s now going right with Obamacare, I check the news.
    Public perception of Obamacare is bound to get better as the website problems are worked out and as more people sign up. Every report I’ve seen says enrollment is surging. If Obamacare is so bad, how can so many people want to sign up for it?

  14. edmondo says:


    If Obamacare is so bad, how can so many people want to sign up for it?

    If Obamacare is so bad, how can so many people want are legally required to sign up for it?

    I fixed it for you.

  15. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Thankful that your wife made it through treatment successfully and is doing well! Cancer is an ugly, evil disease.

  16. JohnMcC says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Thank you for the kind words, my friend. And Merry Christmas to you and all yours.

  17. anjin-san says:

    @ edmondo

    Why are you legally required to have insurance to drive? Tyranny?

  18. TarianinMO says:

    Really, checking the news to see how it’s really going? How are those enrollments going? How many are Medicare? How are those ads? How are those glitches being fixed? How many have paid?