Public opposition to Obamacare is as strong as ever despite the Obama administration’s front-end repairs to HealthCare.gov and reports of boosted enrollment on the revamped site.
A Gallup poll found Friday that 52 percent of Americans still oppose the Affordable Care Act in some manner. A 32 percent plurality think the law should be repealed entirely, while another 20 percent want it changed or scaled back in some manner.
The poll was taken just days after White House press secretary Jay Carney touted HealthCare.gov’s “vast improvement” since the original launch in October, but the numbers are virtually the same as they were in the height of HealthCare.gov’s problems.
The proportion of those favoring Obamacare’s repeal is even up slightly, from 29 percent in mid-October to 32 percent this week. The sharpest drop seen in the poll are those that believe everything’s doing just fine: just 17 percent think the health care law should be kept as is, down from 24 percent several weeks after Obamacare’s launch.
Enrollment has been up since the fixes to the consumer portion of the website were announced, with reports surfacing that 29,000 new Americans enrolled in insurance on Sunday and Monday — a larger number than HealthCare.gov’s enrollments for all of October. But even the small boost in enrollments hasn’t been enough to change Americans’ minds about the law overall.
Staunch opposition to the site may be based on more than consumers’ ease in using the site. The back-end of the federal exchange still isn’t faring well. Insurers have backlogs of unreadable records from consumer purchases and tech experts are maintaining that the site still doesn’t have the security it needs.
White House press secretary Jay Carney assured reporters Monday that errors in 834 forms that give HealthCare.gov registration information to insurers are “vastly improved,” but the majority of the public wasn’t convinced days later.
In the face of all Obamacare’s problems, though, Democrats are still sticking with the floundering program. 34 percent of the President’s party want the law expanded and a close 31 percent think it’s best left as it is now.
Unsurprisingly, the percentage of Republicans that prefer full repeal did jump between HealthCare.gov’s initial failure in mid-October and the announcement of a rebooted version this week. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans polled want full repeal, up from 57 percent almost two months ago.
The White House has undertaken a campaign countering the law’s unpopularity by highlighting benefits of Obamacare through December 23, the last day to sign up for the exchanges to get coverage beginning January 1.
The campaign is part of an effort “to make sure that folks refocus on what’s at stake here,” President Obama said at a recent White House event.
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