Chart of the Day: An Awful Lot of People Think Obamacare is Hurting Them

Kaiser has released its monthly tracking poll on Obamacare, and there’s really no way to put lip gloss on this pig. Public perception of the law has been worsening for the past nine months, and it gapped out sharply after the rollout debacle in October. There’s now a 16-point delta between unfavorable and favorable views of the law, 50-34 percent. With the exception of one or two monthly anomalies that are probably polling artifacts, this is by far the worst it’s been since the law was passed.

You can see the effect this has in the chart on the right: 27 percent now say that Obamacare has “negatively affected” someone in their family. That’s crazy. Even if you subtract the baseline of 18-19 percent who have been saying this all along, that’s an increase of nearly ten points over the course of 2013. Unless you take an absurdly expansive view of “affected,” this is all but impossible. Obamacare simply doesn’t have that kind of reach.

But we’ve been though a recent period in which every co-pay increase, every premium increase, and every narrowing of benefits has been blamed on Obamacare. These things have happened every year like clockwork for the past couple of decades, but this year it was convenient to blame them on Obamacare. Combine that with the PR disaster from the website rollout, and a whole lot of people now believe that Obamacare is hurting them.

Unfortunately, this is fertile ground for Republicans. If they really have the discipline to avoid shooting themselves in the foot this year over idiotic confrontations with the president, running their midterm campaign solely on opposition to Obamacare might be a winner.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend