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One Year Later, Health Care Reform Actually Slightly Less Popular

Obama signs the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Despite predictions by some prominent Democrats that the popularity of health care reform would soar after passage, one year after it was signed by President Obama, support for the law has actually dropped slightly. According to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 42 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of the law while 46 percent view it unfavorably. This is a slightly drop from April of last year when 46 percent viewed the law favorably and only 40 percent viewed it unfavorably.

The fact that the law has lost a modest amount of support in the passed year shouldn’t be surprising given that the law was basically designed to provide almost no help to anyone until 2014. Since the passage of the law, the level of uninsured has remained effectively unchanged while the cost of insurance continues to go up. The law hasn’t done anything positive that would cause people to re-examine their opinions about it, and won’t for another three years.

Every indication is that this general trend in support will likely continue for the next several years. By the 2012 election, support for President Obama’s signature law will likely be roughly the same or slightly lower than it is now. The purely political decision to delay benefits solely to make the law appear cheaper should go down as one of the greatest political miscalculations in recent times.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is now living in the Washington DC area. He created a politics and policy blog, The Walker Report (