For conservatives, Obamacare was supposed to be the worst thing “since slavery.” Not only was it “a complete and total failure,” but congressional Republicans said it was pure “socialism” that would “literally” kill people. They launched 54 (unsuccessful) attempts in the last four years to blow up President Obama’s signature health care law, and even triggered a government shutdown over its implementation.
But now that open enrollments are done, and more than 7.5 million Americans have signed up for health insurance, conservatives are slowly starting to ease off the panic button.
The number of self-identified Republicans who believe the Affordable Care Act will make their lives worse plummeted by over 20 percentage points in the latest Gallup poll, out Friday. Just over one month ago, 72% of Republicans said the health care law would make their family situations worse. That dropped to 51% in a survey taken earlier this week.
With many Obamacare provisions in full swing, fewer Republicans believe the law will ruin their lives. The swift change of heart, Gallup researchers said, was likely because Republicans have found little concrete evidence to suggest that Obamacare actually hurts their health care situations. The survey fits with the president’s assertions that Republican lawmakers are going to have a hard time aggressively railing against the health care law once Americans start reaping its benefits.
Overall, a plurality of Americans, 42%, predict that Obamacare won’t make much of a difference on their lives. Another 32% believe the law will make their situation worse, an 8-point drop from last month. Only 24% think they’re better off with Obamacare.
Meanwhile, general opinions on the health care law as a whole remain more negative than positive. Currently, 54% of Americans disapprove of the law–a figure essentially unchanged since last November. There’s a slight uptick of approval to 43%, but it’s still below its height of 48% when more Americans approved than disapproved the law just after the 2012 presidential elections.
Views of the health care law may soon change as more provisions begin kicking in, and as more and more Americans start receiving affordable health insurance. A separate Gallup poll out earlier this week gave more proof that Obamacare is working. The percentage of Americans without health insurance dropped significantly in the months leading up to the end of open enrollment. The uninsured rate dipped to 15.6%, the lowest level since before Obama took office.