Only 23% Think Obamacare a Success, 62% Think Repeal Likely

According to the latest Rasmussen poll published on April 8th, only 23% of likely American voters now rate Obamacare as a success and 62% believe Republicans will repeal the law. The latest polling results are a very bad omen for 13 incumbent Democratic Senators in seats the Republicans believe they have a chance of winning in the November 2014 mid-term elections. 

The Rasmussen Organization surveys 1,000 “Likely Voters” each week on a number of topics. This week’s poll focused on healthcare to demonstrate Americans increasingly fear the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is terminally flawed and voters believe it is bad for the nation and their personal wellbeing. 

The most recent poll of likely voters found only 27% strongly approve of the way Barack Obama is performing as president and 42% strongly disapprove of his performance. Although this -15% rating is historically abysmal even for a second term president, the polling for healthcare shows a greater rejection of President Obama’s “greatest accomplishment.”

An overwhelming 80% of likely voters rate the quality of their current healthcare as good or excellent. But the percentage of those same potential voters that believe the quality of health care will get worse under Obamacare increased 6% over the last month to 53%, its highest level over the last three years. Today, only 24% of potential voters predict quality will improve under Obamacare; 17% expect no change.

In the heady days of 2010 in the run up to Obamacare’s passage, many of the now vulnerable incumbent Democrat Senators promised Obamacare would save average families $2,500 per year. But 59% of likely voters now believe Obamacare will raise their personal costs for health care, while only 20% believe costs will go down and 16% believe costs will stay about the same. These polling numbers have not changed since the disastrous chaos in the Obamacare roll-out following last year’s government shutdown. 

Over three quarters of likely voters believe it is now at least somewhat likely the health care law will cost more than Obama projected. Half of those voters also continue to believe Obamacare will increase the federal deficit, while only 15% still believe it will reduce the deficit and 20% believe it will have negligible budgetary costs. 

The public in 2010 seemed willing to accept that the federal government should mandate every American must buy or obtain health insurance. But today only 40% of likely voters agree with an “individual mandate” and 46% disagree with any mandate.

The partisan divide over Obamacare has not changed over the last three years. About 51% of Democrats expect the quality of health care to improve under Obamacare, while 85% of Republicans believe that quality will get worse. The real change has been in the perception of independents, where 61% now expect quality of care to deteriorate. Republicans and independents both strongly believe the law will also push up health care costs, but just one third of Democrats believe costs will move higher. 

In the demographic category, women and voters under 40 are less critical of Obamacare than men and older voters. Blacks continue to be much more supportive of Obamacare than whites and other minority voters. 

Republicans need to gain 6 seats to take control of the Senate and they now claim Obamacare has made them extremely competitive against Democrat incumbents. Kansas GOP Sen. Jerry Moran, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters Friday his party has “strong credible candidates” in races in “10, 11, 12, 13 states.” He added: “The map and opportunities have expanded dramatically in a year, in part because of the consequences of the Affordable Care Act.”

The author welcomes feedback and will respond to comments by readers. 


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