Liking Health Care Reform, Not ‘Obamacare’

Rural voters don't like "Obamacare" when you call it "Obamacare." But they do tend to like what Obamacare does.

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Partisanship overwhelms issues in today’s politics.

Voters are willing to change their beliefs — even their religious affiliation, according to Harvard’s Robert Putnam — in order to stay with their political tribe. 

Party labels affect what rural voters think about health care, according to the latest National Rural Assembly/Center for Rural Strategies poll of rural voters in nine swing states. 

We asked voters if they approved or disapproved of the “Affordable Care Act, sometimes called ‘Obamacare’”? When asked this way, 60 percent of voters said they opposed this law and 34 percent said they favored it — a 26 point margin opposed.

When the basic function of the law is described without reference to “Obamacare,” however, the results are totally different. 

The question asked voters if they favored or opposed the Affordable Care Act, which “would give states the opportunity to extend Medicaid coverage to cover more low income families with health insurance, with the Federal government picking up 90 percent of the costs.”

Put this way, without partisan labels, 45 percent approved of the health care reform bill (i.e., Obamacare) while only 42 percent opposed. Voters favored the policy by 3%. 



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