In the lead up to the final health care vote, the White House and its liberal allies were trying to make the argument that the reason why the legislation hadn’t been polling better was that Americans were sick of ugly process stories. Once a bill passed, they argued, and those sausage-making stories were supplanted by triumphant stories about this historic achievement that would deliver real benefits, those numbers would turn around. Well, at least initially, we see that instead of gaining support since passage, opposition to the bill has grown. According to the Pollster.com average, a 51.1 percent majority oppose the law, compared to just 39.9 percent who support it — and as you can tell from the graph below, this spread has widened since it passed.
Meanwhile, the idea that once the public becomes aware of the actual details of the bill, they’ll like it more, hasn’t quite panned out yet, as companies contemplate changing retiree health plans, small business owners grapple with the arbitrary taxing power of government, and people find out that all of that free health insurance that they were expecting won’t actually kick in until 2014.
Maybe President Obama will be vindiciated over time. But at the very minimum, we can say for now that passage of the law — and the triumphant media coverage that followed — has not made a dent in the overwhelming public opposition to the bill, and actually made it worse.