Obamacare Debacle Derails President’s Credibility

by Emily Ekins | Reason.com  |  published on November 18, 2013

Obama sad
The latest Fox News poll finds 55 percent of Americans now disapprove of President Obama’s general job performance and 61 percent specifically disapprove of his health care handling, the highest numbers since they first began asking these questions in 2009. Not even during the IRS or AP scandals, NSA revelations, or Syria debacle did Obama’s favorability ratings take such a hit.

President Obama’s personal image has also been tainted: now a majority (52 percent) of Americans do not find the president honest or trustworthy, the highest level since Quinnipiac began asking the question. Just two years ago Obama enjoyed a +32 advantage on trust (63 to 31 percent). Moreover, most Americans (56 percent) also lack the confidence in Obama’s leadership ability to effectively implement the new health care law.

Public confidence has waned not just for the president but Obama’s signature health care law as well. Gallup finds support for the law is now underwater by 15 points, with 55 percent who disapprove and 40 percent who approve, the highest disapproval and approval gap since Gallup began asking the question. Perhaps one reason for this decline is that nearly six in 10 Americans believe the Obama administration purposely tried to deceive the public regarding the health care law.

These numbers are unsurprising given the inauspicious launch of the online health insurance exchanges. The administration’s figures indicate they have fallen 80 percent short of predictions, with only 106,000 enrollments. Not only that but only about a quarter of these came from the 26 federally run exchanges, which have been even more glitch-ridden, than state run exchanges. The administration’s economic modeling originally predicted 500,000 sign ups and they need about seven million to enroll by March. To meet this the threshold, 13 times as many people would need to sign up each month than they did in October.

This is not unbeknownst to the public; 83 percent of Americans say they have seen, read, or heard news coverage about the problems people have reported experiencing using the federal exchanges. Only 29 percent say the exchanges are working well.

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