Thursday, 19 September 2013

Poll: Most Americans Support Federal Shutdown to Defund ObamaCare

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Despite attack ads by an Obama front group blasting Republican lawmakers for refusing to fund ObamaCare in the upcoming budget, a new poll released this week shows most Americans actually support partially shutting down the federal government until funding for the administration’s controversial healthcare takeover is cut. Other recent surveys, meanwhile, revealed that public opposition to the so-called “Affordable Care Act” has reached record levels — and as time goes by, it is only becoming more unpopular.

Perhaps the most significant public-opinion information on ObamaCare for policymakers in Washington, D.C., are the results of a poll published by Rasmussen on September 17. According to the survey of 1,000 likely voters, 51 percent of Americans support shutting down the U.S. government until GOP and Democrat lawmakers in Congress can figure out how to cut the massive federal budget — and how to slash funding for Obama’s deeply controversial healthcare regime.

Americans overwhelmingly favor cutting federal spending, which continues to balloon as Washington, D.C., runs up trillion-dollar budget deficits and borrows ever-greater amounts from the Communist Chinese regime and the Federal Reserve just to stay afloat. Almost 60 percent of respondents favored budget cuts, while just 16 percent wanted the federal government to spend more. Some 20 percent wanted similar spending levels, the poll found. 

Breaking down the numbers further, nearly four out of five Republicans favored a budget that cuts federal spending, while only eight percent wanted more spending. Even among Democrats, more than one third of respondents supported spending cuts — more than the number that favored a bigger budget, actually, despite statist politicians and commentators consistently suggesting that Democrats always support bigger government. Self-described “moderates” also favored cutting the budget by overwhelming margins. 

Just one in five Americans thought a government shutdown would be good for the economy, even if payments for Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment continued to flow. A full 56 percent thought it would be bad for the economy, while 16 percent did not think it would have an impact. Tea Party members mostly thought it would be good. Still, despite the public largely believing that shutting down much of Washington, D.C., would harm the economy, a majority of respondents were willing to risk it in order to dismantle ObamaCare.  

While most voters support a partial government shutdown until ObamaCare is de-funded and the budget is cut, some 37 percent of respondents said they would prefer that Congress authorize existing spending levels, as proposed by Obama, in order to keep the federal leviathan operating at full speed. In both houses of Congress, however — under immense pressure from constituents — a growing coalition of liberty-minded Republicans is seeking to stop the healthcare takeover by cutting all funding for it. The president has threatened to veto any budget that does not fund ObamaCare, setting the stage for a possible shutdown. Multiple polls sought to find out who voters would blame.   

Separate polls on the healthcare scheme commissioned and conducted recently by a wide variety of media outlets and firms showed similarly widespread opposition to ObamaCare. Even numbers gathered by reliably pro-Obama establishment news companies, many of which played a key role in selling the scheme to the public, suggest that the healthcare law has become an albatross around the necks of Democrats.

A recent poll by CNN, for example, found that just 39 percent of Americans support ObamaCare, with the numbers still plunging fast across all demographic groups. Separately, a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll revealed that a solid majority of respondents — 53 percent — oppose the healthcare scheme, with a whopping 41 percent saying they “very strongly” disapprove. Only one fourth thought ObamaCare would be positive for their family, while more than four out of 10 said the impacts would be negative.

Another poll, commissioned by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, found that, by a massive 45 percent to 23 percent margin, Americans believe the scheme will have a negative impact on the nation’s healthcare system rather than a positive one. The survey also found that about three fourths of respondents were already satisfied with their coverage, presenting further hurdles for proponents of so-called “healthcare reform.” A majority believes it will increase costs, too — a phenomenon that is already occurring. 

“We’re going to get worse health care, and it’s going to increase the debt,” one Republican-leaning female respondent from North Carolina was quoted as saying by NBC News. “There are death panels in there, and they’re going to decide whether people get treatment or not.” A Republican-leaning male respondent from Texas expressed similarly negative attitudes toward the scheme. “Raises costs for everybody and limits choices,” he said. “It was put together so crudely and nobody knew all the unintended consequences.”

The Obama administration and its apologists, however, do not seem to be very concerned with public opinion. In a recent e-mail blast by Organizing for Action, an AstroTurf group that emerged from Obama’s election campaign machine “Organizing for America,” the organization even lashed out at GOP lawmakers for listening to their constituents’ demands to put the brakes on the federal healthcare boondoggle.   

“There are Republicans in the House so dead set on stopping Obamacare that they're willing to sabotage our economy to do it. Really,” complained OFA boss Jim Messina, whose rabid pro-Obama front group failed to muster a single supporter at a “climate change” rally last month. “Instead of passing a budget by the September 30th deadline, they're threatening to shut down the government if Obamacare isn't defunded. It's time for them to cut the crap and get serious.”

In the e-mail, OFA touts a new ad it released this week calling on GOP lawmakers to roll over and hand over the taxpayer funds needed to implement the healthcare scheme. According to the organization, Republicans have been able to “get away with it” without feeling “the pain of public pressure to knock it off.” Presumably, OFA has not seen the latest polling data, because it claimed that the new advertisement will do “just that.”

“Even after more than 40 votes to dismantle Obamacare — a law that is already helping millions of Americans get better, more affordable health care — this group of House Republicans is still clinging to this obsession,” the OFA screed continues without offering any evidence to support the claims. “Their latest plan is dangerous — we know that. They know it, too.” It was not immediately clear what part of the GOP efforts were “dangerous,” or why.

ObamaCare, as regular readers of The New American know well by now, usurps a broad range of authorities in a supposed effort to reduce costs and expand access. Among the most controversial provisions is the so-called “individual mandate,” which, in a nutshell, purports to force every American to purchase government-approved health insurance schemes or face major fines. The “reforms” also dramatically and unconstitutionally expand already-overwhelming federal control over healthcare.  

Of course, as is typical, each poll found variations in public opinion depending on the wording of questions and other variables. One survey cited in the Washington Examiner last month, which asked about shutting the government down entirely rather than partially, suggested that even most Republicans were opposed to the idea. The trends, however, are clear: Opposition to ObamaCare — already wildly unpopular when it was passed — is becoming increasingly strong and widespread. 

Now, even Big Labor, which played a key role in getting Obama elected and his radical agenda passed, is starting to turn against the president on ObamaCare. With conservative Republicans and a powerful coalition of grassroots organizations working hard to abolish the federal takeover before it all sets in, analysts say the prospects for stopping it are looking increasingly bright.     

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at

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