Key take-aways from this month’s Kaiser Tracking Poll, released this morning:
- The health law became more unpopular in August, with approval falling seven points to 43%, and disapproval rising by ten points, to 45%.
- Fewer than one in three (29%) voters believe the law will make them better off – up only one point from the historic low of 28%, set in June.
- Only 39% of respondents believe that health “reform” will help the country as a whole – the lowest rating since the current health care debate began, and down 20 points from the 59% who thought health reform would benefit the country in February 2009.
- A net majority of 50% believes the health care law will not be successful in “reducing the total amount the country spends on health care” (31% disagree strongly), compared to only 46% who believe the law will contain costs (only 14% strongly).
- Among registered voters, 34% are more likely to oppose a candidate who supported the health care law (26% strongly), while 31% are likely to support a candidate who voted for the law (only 18% strongly).
- A majority (52%) of voters strongly disapprove of the health care law’s individual mandate to purchase insurance. A further 18% somewhat disapprove, leading to an overall negative rating for the mandate of 70% – almost the same margin by which voters in Missouri rejected the mandate in a referendum earlier this month.
- Informing those who initially approved of the individual mandate that such a provision “could mean that some people would be required to buy health insurance that they find too expensive or did not want” led nearly half of the mandate’s supporters to reconsider their position, driving the mandate’s net disapproval up to a whopping 83%.
Politico has a brief summary of the poll, noting that the results are “a far cry from the bump proponents had hoped to see as some of the law’s more consumer-friendly provisions kick in.” And unfortunately for Democrats, future months are unlikely to see many welcome developments either. Among the “coming attractions” for individuals heading into open-enrollment periods this fall: Premiums will go up, many Americans will discover they will lose their existing coverage as soon as next year thanks to the law’s new mandates and regulations, and millions of seniors will lose access to Medicare Advantage plans they have and like. No wonder the polls remain clear that Democrats’ government takeover of health care is a change most Americans do not believe in.