It's probably fair to say that one of the President's most important achievements was the passage of health care reform. While some of us (the author included) felt that the reform did not go far enough, and remain skeptical of its ability to "bend the cost curve downwards," the effort was clearly one of the Administration's central priorities.
But how does the program play out with voters, given the impending 2012 battle over the President's possible re-election?
Well, the latest poll, by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation (see www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/8251.cfm), gives us some data relevant to that question.
That poll reports that support for ObamaCare has declined significantly, including (surprisingly!) among self-identified Democrats, the President's core constituency.
Here are some of the findings:
. . . this month's tracking poll found more of the public expressing negative views towards the law . . . 51% say they have an unfavorable view . . . while 34% have a favorable view.
The change in favorability this month was driven by waning enthusiasm for the law among Democrats, among whom the share with a favorable view dropped from nearly two-thirds in September to just over one-half (52%) in October.
Americans are more than twice as likely this month to say the law won't make much difference for them and their families as they are to say they'll be better off under the law . . . Here, too, changes in views among Democrats helped shape the overall change.
While the largest factor in voter's minds as the 2012 election approaches is likely to be the economy (and particularly the unemployment level), declining support for one of the President's signature programs, especially among his natural supporters, is not a good sign for him or fellow Democrats further down the ticket.