wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

Why President Obama doesn’t talk about health care — in a single chart

at 11:21 AM ET, 03/19/2012

The fight over President Obama’s health care bill is set to heat up (again) in the next week as the Supreme Court begins oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law.

But, a look at polling on the issue suggests that it’s very unlikely that whatever the Court decides will have much impact on how the law is viewed by the American public.

In new Washington Post-ABC News polling, 41 percent of people approve of the law while 52 percent disapprove. What’s striking about those numbers is how unchanging they have been over the last two-plus years.

Here’s a chart that tells the story:

Support for the law has hovered in the low to mid 40s; opposition has stayed steady in the low to mid 50s. What the steadiness in those numbers means is that the health care law is a settled issue for most people. They have made up their minds about whether they like it or don’t like it.

If the Court rules parts of the law unconstitutional, it will affirm the belief of those who oppose it but probably won’t have a huge impact on those who support. The same is true if the Court upholds the law; it’s hard to imagine those opposed to it reversing coursed after two years simply because the Supreme Court says it’s within legal limits.

There’s a reason that President Obama doesn’t spend much time talking about health care these days. Because the majority of people are simply not persuadable about it. Minds have been made up.

 
Read what others are saying