Americans Trust Obama as Much as Republicans on Health Care

For the first time since the
Quinnipiac poll
began asking the question, Americans are
equally likely to trust Obama as Congressional Republicans with
handling health care policy (42 to 43 percent respectively. In
fact, just a few weeks ago, President Obama enjoyed a 9-point
advantage over his GOP colleagues (47 to 38 percent) for handling
health care.

A plurality of young Americans 18-29, a key Obama constituency,
were actually slightly more likely to trust Republicans in Congress
than Obama on health care by a margin of 46 to 41 percent). A
plurality of independents also favored the Congressional GOP over
Obama by a margin of 47 to 32 percent.  A slim plurality of
Latinos favored Obama to Republicans on health care 49 to 41,
compared to Caucasians who favored Republicans (50 to 34 percent)
and African-Americans who favored Obama (78 to 13 percent). Despite
the so-called Republican War on Women, Obama only retains a 2-point
advantage among women (44 to 42 percent), while men favor
Republicans (44 to 39 percent).

Obama’s slipping advantage is particularly surprising given the
president’s previous upper hand on an
issue traditionally owned
by Democrats. Not only that, but
favorability sank to record lows
just a few weeks ago during
the government shutdown.  

However, once public debate over the government shutdown
settled, attention focused on the messy and glitch-laden launch of
the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange websites. The
websites managed to only sign up
6 enrollees
in the first day. Thus far the Wall Street

that only about 100,000 Americans have enrolled in
federal and state run exchanges, falling about 80 percent short of
the 500,000 enrollments the
administration’s models had predicted

Reports of insurers cancelling millions of Americans’ health
insurance policies despite President Obama’s repeated
that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep
your health care plan” have further disillusioned the public.

Quinnipiac also
that only 36 percent of Americans approve of President
Obama’s handling of health care, independent of a comparison,
compared to 43 percent in October.

Amidst the government shut down just a few weeks ago, few would
have guessed the public would trust the Republicans on major
issues, let alone health care. However, the roll out of President
Obama’s signature health care law has proven a difficult and
uncertain process. Even before the shutdown
62 percent of Americans
thought implementation of the ACA was
not going well.

Perhaps the last few months have further demonstrated why it is
not often that federal government can be trusted to do things

from Hit & Run

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