Support for Health Care Reform Law Has Stayed Stable Over Two Years
Although supporters of the federal health reform law believed it would become more popular over time, recent data indicate that support for the law has remained stagnant in the two years since it was enacted, the Wall Street Journal reports
An analysis conducted by Real Clear Politics that aggregated the results of major polls on the health reform law found that 50.4% of U.S. residents opposed the overhaul on the day afterÂ it was signed into law. That figure increased to just 50.5% this week, according to the analysis (Adamy/Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 3/22).
According to some observers, supporters of the overhaul have struggled to gain public approval for the health reform law because many key provisions of the overhaul have yet to take effect, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Although certain provisions have taken effect -- such as one allowing young adults to remain on their parents' plan until age 26 -- many U.S. residents still do not connect with the law. For example, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that about 66% of U.S. residents say they have not been personally affected by the health reform law, and just one in seven say the law has had a positive effect on them. "The law is still not real for the vast majority of Americans," Mollyann Brodie of KFF said (Levey, Los Angeles Times, 3/20).
Meanwhile, some provisions in the law have not been as successful as supporters had hoped, according to the Journal. For example, the high-risk insurance pools have enrolled only a fraction of the anticipated number of participants.
Supporters of the overhaul note that its main goal to expand insurance coverage for 30 million U.S. residents will not begin until 2014. Other observers have said the overhaul has remained unpopular with some voters because it has "become a proxy for broader unease" with the Obama administration, according to the Journal (Adamy/Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 3/22).
Health Reform Critics Outspend Supporters Three-to-One, Report Finds
In related news, critics of the overhaul have outspent supporters by about three-to-one on advertising related to the reform law in the two years since the law was enacted, according to a report by Kantar Media, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/22).
The report found 410 advertisers have spent $204 million to air 1,018 advertisements critical of the health reform law, while 48 advertisers have spent $58 million on 90 positive ads. In addition, the report found that critics also have targeted advertising to swing states more than opponents (Geiger, Los Angeles Times, 3/23).
The report notes that the negative advertising on the overhaul could explain why the overhaul's public image has not improved ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.