CNN Poll: 53% feel ACA helping them or others; only 38% oppose it from the right

Hat Tip To: 
Greg Sargent

Thanks to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent for the heads up on a new national CNN poll about the ACA. Here's the key findings...and kudos to CNN for clearly distinguishing between those who oppose it for being "too liberal" (which basically means they don't like Medicaid expansion and tax subsidies) and those who oppose it because they want Single Payer (which includes myself, although that doesn't mean I oppose the law, since I see it as a path towards single payer):

According to the poll, only 18% of the public say they or their families are better off now that the major provisions of the health care law have been implemented. Another 35% report that, while their lives have not improved, the Affordable Care Act has benefited other people in the U.S. Add those two numbers together, and that means 53% say that Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country.

..."Not all of the opposition to the health care law comes from the right," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-eight percent say they oppose the law because it's too liberal, but 17% say they oppose it because it's not liberal enough. That means more than half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it because it doesn't go far enough."

It's the paragraph above that which I find of more interest, however; not what it says but the order in which it says it:

The poll, conducted this past weekend, was released on Wednesday, one day after a federal appeals court upheld Obamacare tax subsidies. That ruling came just a couple of hours after a separate appeals court struck down such subsidies for the millions of Americans enrolled in the federal government's HealthCare.gov exchange.

The reason I find this interesting is that less than 24 hours ago, the headlines were "Federal Court Deals Major Blow to Obamacare!!" A few hours later it was "2nd Federal Court Upholds Obamacare!!"

This morning, CNN is still (rightly) using the "split decision" framing...but they've swapped the order of the decisions, listing the 4th Circuit decision (supporting the subsidies) first and the DC Circuit decision (gutting the subsidies) second...a subtle but noteworthy (to me) distinction.

As for only 18% saying that the law has helped them or their families, that makes perfect sense to me, since it doesn't (directly) impact the vast bulk of the country anyway. Anyone on Medicare, previously on Medicaid, covered by employer-based insurance, the VA and so on isn't directly impacted (yet, in some cases); only around 24 - 29 million people have been so far, by my count...and my count is the highest estimate I know of; others are as "low" as 20 million.

In a nation of 315 million people, that's only 7-10% who are directly impacted, so having 18% say that they've benefitted is actually fantastic news.