Obamacare poll shock: 77 per cent want the individual mandate repealed or delayed, as the House passes a bill to block IRS enforcement
A healthcare media company sponsored a scientific poll of more than 2,000 registered voters, and found a stunning 77 per cent want to see Obamacare’s individual health insurance mandate delayed or scrapped entirely. That includes 49 per cent who want the mandate killed.
Just 11 per cent agreed with the Obama administration’s contention that fully implementing the president’s signature health care law will lower their ‘ total health care costs, such as appointment co-payments, monthly premiums, deductibles and drug co-payments.’
The Morning Consult commissioned the online poll from Survey Sampling International, Inc. Its margin of error is 2 percentage points.
The shocking level of public discontent comes along with news that members of Congress and their staffs have struck a deal with the White House to subsidize their enrollment in health care exchanges with taxpayer dollars.
And the House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would deny the IRS any funding to operate or enforce the health care law.
Government employees are required to enroll in the exchanges, which the White House needs to swell by millions of Americans in order to make Obamacare’s math work. But Capitol Hill staffers have complained bitterly that their costs would soar if Uncle Sam stopped paying at least 75 per cent of their insurance costs.
But a promised regulation will force taxpayers to continue picking up the tab. The Office of Personnel Management confirmed Thursday that it had found a way to authorize the federal government to defray most of the cost of congressional staffers’ premiums for exchange-run plans.
In the Morning Consult poll, 94 per cent of those who said Obamacare will make health care worse cited their expectations of higher costs as one reason. Overall, 47 per cent of those polled said they expected their health care expenses to grow.
The individual mandate will go into effect October 1, requiring all Americans to either show proof that they have a qualifying health insurance policy or enroll in the public exchanges, which will be available in all U.S. states.
But just 17 of those states will administer their own exchanges this year. Among the other 34, including the District of Columbia, 27 will be operated by the federal government, and Washington will co-administer 7 more with state governments.
Henry Chao, a senior federal official who works on the computer technology that will manage the exchanges, told Forbes in March that he was ‘pretty nervous’ about meeting the October 1 deadline and hoped the exchanges don’t become ‘a Third World experience.’
Politico first reported Thursday night that congressional staffers and their bosses will not have to fund their participation in Obamacare out of their own pockets.
The Virginia news outlet reported Wednesday that President Obama told Democratic members of the U.S. Senate ‘that he was personally involved in finding a solution.’
The White house has quietly acknowledged the Republicans will use the agreement as a cudgel to beat up Democrats during the August legislative recess, and in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections.
The Morning Consult poll likely asked the question about delaying or spiking the individual mandate because the Obama administration announced in July that a similar mandate on employers would be pushed back to October 1, 2015.
Companies that employ at least 50 full-time workers will be required to show the IRS that they provide health insurance for their workers, or that they have enrolled them in exchanges.
Republicans in Congress have argued that the individual mandate should be delayed as well. Four Democrats joined their caucus Friday in approving the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act, sponsored by Georgia GOP Rep. Tom Price.
The bill faces unlikely prospects in the Senate, and a certain veto if it should pass. It would deny the IRS any funds to enforce the individual and employer mandates, and to manage the system of tax credits meant to subsidize the state-based health care exchanges.