Gallup: Majority Say Healthcare Not Govt's Responsibility

The Obamacare rollout continues to create political problems for the Obama administration. A Gallup poll released Monday shows that the goal of universal coverage–the primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act– is less popular than ever.

The poll, which was conducted a week ago, found that 56 percent of Americans surveyed now say “ensuring all Americans have coverage” is not a government responsibility. Just 42 percent say that it is a government responsibility.

As Gallup notes, before President Obama was elected these figures were nearly the reverse. In 2008, 54 percent said government was responsible for ensuring coverage and 41 percent said no. That was actually down from the high point in 2006 when the question was 69-28 in favor of government responsibility.

Gallup also offers a breakdown by party which shows that 86 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and even 30 percent of Democrats say universal coverage should not be a government concern.

With the midterm elections coming next year, Democrats looking at the new Gallup chart have reason to be nervous. The opposition to what is the core concept of the Affordable Care Act is nearly the same as it was in 2010 among Republicans (86% now vs. 87% then) but is significantly higher among Independents (55% now vs. 49% then) and even among Democrats (30% now vs. 22% in 2010). All of this could signal a particularly bad election cycle for Democrats unless there is a big shift back the other direction.

Gallup concludes “as the debate about the implementation of the new healthcare law has
unfolded, Americans have become less likely than ever to agree that the
federal government should be responsible for making sure that all
Americans have healthcare.”

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