IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The two constants in health care polling

<p>For well over two years, the polling on health care has been remarkably consistent.</p>
The two constants in health care polling
The two constants in health care polling

For well over two years, the polling on health care has been remarkably consistent. Indeed, there have been two broad, unyielding truths: (1) asked about the Democratic plan/law in general, Americans don't like it; and (2) asked about what's in the Democratic plan/law, Americans like it quite a bit.

And two years after the Affordable Care Act became law, guess what: the pattern holds.

Two-thirds of Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn some or all of the health care law, even though large majorities support a few of its major aspects, according to a poll by The New York Times and CBS News.

Here's a chart I put together, highlighting the difference between support for the overall law, the controversial mandate Republicans loved until Obama agreed with them, and some of the more notable provisions of the law itself.

There are a couple of angles to keep in mind here. The first is that Americans have clearly been influenced by the enormous misinformation campaign, and have been told so many times they're supposed to oppose the law that they do, even if they don't know what's in it (and even if they love its components after learning what they are).

The second is that public appreciation for the policy nuances here simply don't exist. Americans don't like the mandate but they love protections for those with preexisting conditions. That the two are linked is something the mainstream simply doesn't understand.

Who's to blame for the polling disconnect -- the left for explaining this poorly or the right for misleading the country -- is an open question. The larger point, though, often goes overlooked: the policies that serve as the foundation for "Obamacare" are widely liked by the public, even if the law itself is not. When conservatives chortle over their p.r. victory over the law, these details are worth remembering.