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Obama’s 2012 Health Care Problem: Opinion of Reform Low and Getting Lower

The passage of health care reform is touted as one of President Obama’s most prominent achievements, yet it wasn’t popular with the American people when it passed, and continues to grow slightly less popular as time goes on. Gallup finds that on its one year anniversary, fewer Americans think reform was a good thing.

A year ago, Congress passed a law that restructures the nation's healthcare system. All in all, do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing that Congress passed this law? March 2011 results

Like with the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, overall support for the law has changed little, but there is a real trend of people becoming modestly less supportive.

Given that the law–by design–will provide little help to almost anyone before 2014, and the cost of health insurance will continue to rise, there is little reason to suspect this slight downward trend won’t continue for the next two years. This modest trend wouldn’t be a big problem if the law wasn’t already so unpopular.

I doubt any size of Democratic PR campaign could improve health care reform’s support at this point. The only thing that could potentially bring a large number of people around would be to move up the start of the benefits to early 2012. But, with a Republicans controlling House–which ironically they were able to win control of in large part due to President Obama’s disasterous handling of health care reform–the chances of that happening are effectively zero.

Since it is unlikely Obama is going to achieve any new major accomplishments with a Republican House, or pass any improvements to health care that could make the law more popular, he is going to have the unenviable task of running for re-election with his biggest achievement unpopular and slowly leaking support.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at