KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Poll: Obamacare Hits A New High — Especially Among Democrats

At 49 percent public support, the health law reached a new high in the latest ABC/Washington Post poll, while criticism of Barack Obama's handling of the law's rollout- although still substantial- has eased. However, Republicans believe that they can use voter frustration over the measure in the upcoming election. 

The Washington Post: Democrats’ Support For Obamacare Surges
Democrats are rallying back behind the 2010 health-care law and boosting President Obama's ratings for handling the law's rollout, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll (Clement and Craighill, 3/31).

ABC News: At 49 Percent Support, Obamacare Hits A High
Public support for the Affordable Care Act narrowly notched a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, while criticism of Barack Obama’s handling of the law’s rollout – although still substantial – has eased from its peak last fall. Views hardly are enthusiastic: With the year’s sign-up deadline upon us, Americans split on Obamacare, 49 percent in support, 48 percent opposed. But that compares with a 40-57 percent negative rating after the initial failure of the federal enrollment website last November (Langer, 3/31).

The New York Times: ‘Imperial Presidency’ Becomes A Rallying Cry For Republicans
The phrase is part of an effort by Republicans to nationalize a series of concerns about the Obama White House, and the role of government, into a pithy, compelling expression. The “imperial presidency” mantra not only captures existing voter frustration over the Affordable Care Act and turns it, Republicans believe, into a broader referendum on the president’s entire administration, but also reflects an underlying conservative philosophy about the appropriate role of government (Parker, 3/31).

CNN: Republicans Hit A Nerve When It Comes To Obamacare
Republicans are going all in, hoping that the payout is big. Like control of the Senate, big. Their big bet: Obamacare. The deadline to enroll in the Affordable Care Act for the year has come and gone. The Obama administration is touting the enrollment numbers as a successful first year, but Republicans think voter anger over the law is here to stay. And so, Republicans running for Congress and Senate continue to make it central to their campaign (Caldwell, 4/1).

Los Angeles Times: Democratic Turnout Seen As Key To Party’s Retaining Senate Control
Because of the states up for grabs this year, "we're playing defense, they're playing offense," said Joel Benenson, Obama's chief pollster. Moreover, anger at the party in power has proved a powerful motivating force to get people to the polls. With Obama in the White House and his signature healthcare law a rallying point for conservatives, Republicans can count on their core voters showing up. A recent NBC/Wall St. Journal poll found Republicans significantly more likely than Democrats to express high interest in the fall election (Memoli and Lauter, 3/31).

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