As the White House downplays ObamaCare's troubled rollout, Americans don't like what they have seen so far, expect the sweeping health reform to hike their premiums and increasingly back a delay in the individual mandate, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll.
As his signature legislation struggles, President Obama's support has fallen to an all-time low. The latest IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index slid 0.5 point to 43, below the neutral 50 for an eighth straight month.
By 60%-18%, Americans give bad marks to ObamaCare's implementation, with 43% saying it's unacceptable.
A plurality of Democrats, 35%-31% — actually says the rollout has been good or excellent. That may reflect a desire to avoid criticizing a president and program they support. Even Obama has said he's "angry" and there's "no sugarcoating" the exchange website problems.
Meanwhile, media attention has begun to shift to the millions of people losing coverage due to ObamaCare regulations.
The president for years repeatedly promised that if you like your current health plan you can keep it under ObamaCare. But just 40% say that's proving true vs. 46% who say it's false.
That reading may be deceivingly close. Again, Democrats stand by their man, blunting solid majorities of Republicans and independents. Also, news reports of cancellation notices picked up midway through the Oct. 26-30 IBD/TIPP survey of 919 adults.
Obama and administration officials blame "bad apple" insurers, but even experts who back the law say that's not really true.
And 53% of Americans believe their premiums will rise due to the Affordable Care Act. Even Democrats are more apt to agree than disagree.
Support is growing for delaying ObamaCare's individual mandate. Americans back the idea, 55%-32% vs. 51%-39% a month ago. Democrats favor a delay, 48%-35%, up from 41%-43%.
Administration officials — who insisted until the launch that the websites would be working Oct. 1 — now say the site will be up and running by the end of November. Many neutral observers have serious doubts.
Americans, by 57%-42%, say they're not confident the November target will be hit — even with Democrats expressing confidence by nearly 3-to-1. The longer it takes for the websites to run smoothly, the higher the risk that young, healthy people won't sign up, making the exchanges' finances untenable.
The launch already has made Americans feel worse about ObamaCare, 37%-13%, though 47% say their opinion hasn't changed. Again, more Democrats say the rollout made them feel better about the law, 27%-12%. The opposite view dominates among Republicans (65%-2%) and independents (40%-10%).
Despite Americans' negative reactions, their overall ObamaCare impression has mellowed. They still oppose it 50%-44%, but that's down from 54%-41% a month earlier. The conservative effort to defund the law via the government shutdown may have shored up support.
But that bounce could fade as the budget stalemate recedes and ObamaCare programs continue to win attention.