by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute
The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll provides a fascinating look into how factors other than the content of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affect people’s views of that law.
Kaiser asked respondents their views of the PPACA, alternately describing it as “ObamaCare” and “the health reform law.” Here’s what happened:
- Among Republicans, calling it “ObamaCare” caused the share reporting an unfavorable view to rise from 76 percent to 86 percent (+10 percentage points), with no discernible change in the share reporting a favorable view.
- Among independents, calling it “ObamaCare” caused the share reporting an unfavorable view to rise from 43 percent to 52 percent (+9 percentage points), with no discernible change in the share reporting a favorable view.
- Among Democrats, calling it “ObamaCare” produced no discernible change in the share reporting an unfavorable view, but caused the share reporting a favorable view to rise from 58 percent to 73 percent (+15 percentage points).
A few conclusions can be drawn.
- The PPACA remains unpopular among Republicans, independents, and the public overall (see below).
- Republicans dislike the law more than Democrats like it.
- A substantial share of both the opposition to and support for “ObamaCare” is driven by partisanship or opinions about President Obama (which are pretty close to the same thing), rather than the content of the law.
- Partisanship is a larger factor in Democrats’ support for “ObamaCare” (15 percentage points) than in Republicans’ or independents’ opposition to it (10 and 9 percentage points, respectively).
- Dropping the term “ObamaCare” causes Democratic support for the law to fall by 15 percentage points.
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