More on the costs of Obamacare: A USA Today/Gallup poll finds that almost two-thirds of people think the healthcare reform bill costs too much and, more interestingly, “expands the government’s role in health care too far.” We kept hearing that after the bill passed and people either learned what was actually in it, or just became more comfortable with the idea of its passage, they would get on board. That hasn’t turned out to be the case. Support for the bill has actually decreased since the day after it passed. And in fact, for the first time, President Obama’s disappoval rating has reached a full 50%.
That’s not to say the public doesn’t see any good in the bill. A plurality thinks it will actually improve healthcare in the country. I’m guessing that they believe it will do this by lowering the ranks of the uninsured. But they don’t think it will personally improve their own family’s healthcare—a plurality thinks it will make their quality of care and coverage worse. Their view seems to be that this massive new entitlement might help the tens of millions of people who are uninsured, but damage the health and bottom line of the hundreds of millions of people in the general population. The fact that there is such a split indicates that people might actually be thinking about this bill in more specific terms than they often do about Washington legislation.
There are reports that some opponents of the bill have turned to violence, threatening Democratic lawmakers who passed it. Many Democrats blame the heated rhetoric of Republicans. But the poll indicates that many people think the Democrats, at least in part, brought these troubles upon themselves:
And when asked about incidents of vandalism and threats that followed the bill’s passage, Americans are more inclined to blame Democratic political tactics than critics’ harsh rhetoric. Forty-nine percent say Democratic tactics are “a major reason” for the incidents, while 46% blame criticism by conservative commentators and 43% the criticism of Republican leaders.