KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Fix In Health Website Helps Stop Freefall In Obama’s Popularity

An ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests opposition to the health law has eased in the past month. Meanwhile, the administration says that the president will soon name someone to replace Jeffrey Zients to oversee the operation of the insurance website.

The Washington Post: Obama Suffers Most From Year Of Turmoil, Poll Finds
President Obama is ending his fifth year in office matching the worst public approval ratings of his presidency, with record numbers of Americans saying they disapprove of his job performance and his once-hefty advantages over Republicans in Congress eroded in many areas, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. His position is all the more striking when compared with his standing a year ago, as he was preparing for his second inauguration after a solid reelection victory. That high note proved fleeting as the president faced a series of setbacks, culminating in the botched rollout of his Affordable Care Act two months ago (Balz and Clement, 12/17).

ABC News: A Drop In Opposition To Obamacare Helps Stabilize A Struggling Presidency
Public opposition to the new health care law has eased in the past month, enough to help level off Barack Obama's falling popularity – but not to turn it around. Fifty-five percent of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll disapprove of the president's job performance overall, unchanged from last month's reading as the worst of his career. Forty-three percent approve, a scant percentage point from 42 percent in November (Langer, 12/17).

The New York Times: One White House Shift Is Delayed For A Month
President Obama will soon name a new overseer to complete repairs of the government's health insurance website, but the current manager, Jeffrey D. Zients, is delaying his move to become chief White House economic adviser for about a month, administration officials said Monday (Calmes, 12/16).

And on Obama's personal insurance -

Fox News: Obama Has Yet To Enroll In Health Insurance Under Affordable Care Act
The White House said Monday that President Obama has yet to sign up for health insurance through a federal website created by his signature health care law. "The president will purchase insurance on the exchanges," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "When we have an update on that, we'll provide it to you." Carney, who has been asked about the president's plans at least once since enrollment in ObamaCare started Oct. 1, pointed out the deadline is not until March 31 (12/16).

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