Here’s news that’s really no surprise: a new poll has found that support for the health care reform law has been gradually rising. The GOP hysteria proved unfounded, as voters now know.
Opposition to the landmark health care overhaul declined over the past month, to 35 percent from 41 percent, according to the latest results of a tracking poll, reported Thursday.
Fifty percent of the public held a favorable view of the law, up slightly from 48 percent a month ago, while 14 percent expressed no opinion about the measure, according to the poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The approval level was the highest for the legislation since it was enacted in March, after a divisive year-long debate. In April, the poll found 46 percent in favor and 40 percent opposed.
(The chart shows an average of several polls; the Kaiser poll reports support at 50 percent.)
A couple of things help explain the rising support. One is that the debate over health reform was ugly, polarized and protracted. When it lingered – sourly — in the news, the ugliness helped sour people on the very idea of health care reform. Once the debate ended, so did some of the hostility to the proposal.
The second thing is that Republicans over-reached in their exaggerations and hysteria about the problems the new law would cause: Death panels! Rationing! Now that people see the world hasn’t ended, they’ve relaxed a bit.
If Obama and the rest of the Democrats were better at politics and messaging, they’d remind voters that health care reform was critical not only for today’s uninsured but also for the future economy. Work-based health insurance is fading away as more and more workers are hired for short term contracts. The new health care law provides flexibility for a new economy.