Now that healthcare reform has passed support has increased in the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll:
Americans by 9 percentage points have a favorable view of the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, a notable turnaround from surveys before the vote that showed a plurality against it.
By 49%-40% those surveyed say it was “a good thing” rather than a bad one that Congress passed the bill. Half describe their reaction in positive terms, as “enthusiastic” or “pleased,” while about four in 10 describe it in negative ways, as “disappointed” or “angry.”
The largest single group, 48%, calls the bill “a good first step” that should be followed by more action on health care. An additional 4% also have a favorable view, saying the bill makes the most important changes needed in the nation’s health care system.
Republicans had hoped that health care would be Obama’s Waterloo. Instead it is the Republicans who have the most negative ratings:
No one gets overwhelmingly positive ratings on the issue, but Obama fares the best: 46% say his work has been excellent or good; 31% call it poor. Congressional Democrats get an even split: 32% call their efforts good or excellent; 33% poor.
The standing of congressional Republicans is more negative. While 26% rate their work on health care as good or excellent, a larger group, 34%, say it has been poor.
Republicans might have been doomed to fail on this issue as only eight percent believe no changes are needed in health care. Support for the bill is also likely to increase as people see that there are no death panels, they have a better chance of keeping their current insurance if they choose than they had before reform was passed, and the government has not taken over health care.
Democrats still must work hard to explain and sell the bill. They have three potential problems:
- The right wing noise machine will continue to distort the facts
- While there are some benefits this year, most of the benefits will not be seen for a few years
- This cannot fix all problems with health care, and Republicans are bound to blame all future problems on this bill and the Democrats.