Obamacare’s publicity problem

at 01:47 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Ever since debate over the health-care law began, Democrats have said that Americans would like the Affordable Care Act better the more they know about it.

But as the Supreme Court decides the fate of “Obamacare,” the latest polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the law’s supporters are still losing the information battle.

The law’s popular provisions are still far less well-known than the unpopular individual mandate.


Source: Kaiser Family Foundation.

As we wrote last week, public opinion of the health-care law has barely budged since 2009. The language people use to describe their opposition — which focuses on cost and government control — hasn’t changed either.

In the most recent Washington Post-ABThe law’s popular provisions are still far less well-known than the unpopular individual mandate. C News poll showing 52 percent of Americans still oppose the law, 70 percent said that what they have heard about it is mostly negative.

Supporters argue that the message war can still be won.

 "It's not surprising, because the full law isn't all implemented until 2014, so we know its going to take years until everyone is benefiting and understanding it like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,” said Eddie Vale, spokesman for the pro-reform group Protect Your Care.

Of course, if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate but leaves the rest of the law intact, as seems possible, the most-visible and least-popular part of the reform will go away. But without the mandate, some of the law’s more popular provisions won’t work. So what would happen in the court of public opinion is anyone’s guess.

 
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