Despite millions of Americans getting covered by Obamacare — which Democrats had long said would improve the health law’s favorability ratings — public opinion remains negative.
Some 48 percent hold an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act, compared with 38 percent favorable — numbers that are virtually unchanged from previous months — according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, released Tuesday.
In the time between the March and April polls, enrollment exceeded the administration’s own expectations and was largely considered a successful start for the health law’s exchanges.
“People’s opinions are pretty set, and so divided by political party, that we think people are still judging the law through their partisan lens,” said Liz Hamel, director of the foundation’s public opinion and survey research. “Eight million is a lot of people, but in terms of the share reporting on public opinion of the law, it’s a small share.”
Over time, public opinion has remained steady, with the exception of a bump in the number holding negative views after October’s messy launch of HealthCare.gov. It’ll take time for sentiments to change as consumers use their new coverage, but for Obamacare to see positive ratings, Hamel said, people will also have to like that coverage.
Misinformation may also be the culprit behind the health law’s low approval ratings. Some 57 percent of respondents said the Obama administration fell short of its enrollment goal, despite reports that health coverage sign-ups surpassed 8 million, far and above the Congressional Budget Office’s 7 million estimate (and revised 6 million projection, following the tech troubles of the first two months of open enrollment).
Kaiser’s researchers conducted the survey April 15-21 among a nationally representative random sample of 1,504 adults. The foundation has been conducting the monthly public opinion survey since the law passed in 2010.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
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Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
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