American political scientists downgrade our fourth-greatest president ever

February 17, 2015
"Tell me you love me!"

“Tell me you love me!”

Via The Washington Examiner, the results of this survey should have Obama running to his mirror for reassurance:

According to a Brookings Institution survey of American Political Science Association scholars, they put Obama on the worst, not best, list by a margin of nearly three-to-one. Here’s how Brookings wrote it: “Those who view Obama as one of the worst American presidents outnumber those who view him as one of the best by nearly a 3-1 margin.”

And, the friendly think tank added, “nearly twice as many respondents view Obama as over-rated than do those who consider him under-rated.”

Overall, Brookings said, “Few think of Obama as an excellent president, while many more rate his presidency quite low, with the bulk of experts appearing to give him a passing grade but not one that would get him on the Dean’s list.”

The survey was sent to 391 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics section, the premier organization of experts of the American presidency, and 162 participated online.

First, let’s note that Brookings is not what one would call a “conservative” institution, so, if they have any bias, it likely runs in the other direction. Second, the APSA itself has a very liberal bent, so we can imagine that while it hurt to ding Obama, some of that criticism probably came from the Left, disappointed that he hasn’t gone far enough. Regardless, it’s a far cry from the fawning euphoria felt by those who greeted him as the second coming of FDR and those halcyon days when he was granted a Nobel peace Prize before he had done anything. (1)

Then again, FDR’s economic policies were largely a failure, so maybe the comparison was apt, after all.

Still, “the worst” by a 3-1 margin? There can be only one explanation: racism.

Don’t they know he’s the fourth-greatest president, ever?

Footnote:
(1) Then again, that is likely to be remembered as the high point of his administration….

UPDATE: Changed the headline from the original, since, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed tendentious.

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Shocker: #Obamacare not shielding consumers from costs

December 1, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

There’s an interesting article at Hot Air in which Ed Morrissey interprets the results of a Gallup survey that, contra the intentions of Obamacare’s author’s, many people are still putting off medical care, including for serious conditions, because of cost. Bear in mind that one of the goals of the new system was to keep people from having to make choices about their care based on cost. Instead, in some demographics, the numbers of those putting off care has gone up:

However, the percentage of those who put off care due to cost issues actually rose among those with private insurance — by almost double digits, in fact:

“Among Americans with varying types of medical coverage (including no coverage), uninsured Americans are still the most likely to report having put off medical treatment because of cost. More than half of the uninsured (57%) have put off treatment, compared with 34% with private insurance and 22% with Medicare or Medicaid. However, the percentage of Americans with private health insurance who report putting off medical treatment because of cost has increased from 25% in 2013 to 34% in 2014.”

(Emphasis added)

Now, why is this? Ed offers some speculations:

There are a few possible reasons, with the truth probably in combination of some:

  • The so-called recovery isn’t actually boosting workers the way Democrats claim.
  • Forced carriage of health insurance takes too big of a bite out of workers’ disposable income.
  • The health insurance that consumers get has too large of a deductible for the affordable premiums, or …
  • … it has inadequate coverage for the conditions, while the premiums make it impossible to get treatment on their own.
  • Reimbursement rates and narrowed provider choices make it difficult to get treatment.

I’d say the third and fifth in the list are the big reasons for people who already have private insurance are putting off care. Search through the Obamacare archives here and you’ll find reports of sky-high deductibles that make the “affordable” premiums laughable, and newly-limited networks forcing people to pay through the nose if they want to get treatment that used to be covered, or to see the doctor they preferred (1), who now isn’t in their network. (If they’ll take your insurance at all.)

This is another example of why, assuming they can come up with a workable replacement, the Republicans will be able to repeal Obamacare in 2017, unlike other entitlements: it has become a giant pain in the tuchus for millions of people (most of whom never wanted it anyway), and they will demand that the Republican congress and new Republican (I hope) president make that pain go away.

Footnote:
(1) Per the President’s promise, repeated ad nauseam over the course of several years. People remember that, just as they remember the senators who helped sell them that bill of goods. Just ask the (former) Democrat senators who had to run for reelection in the last midterms.


#Obamacare: the more Americans know it, the more they hate it

August 5, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

That’s the unavoidable conclusion of a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which, if I recall correctly, has been friendly towards the ACA. Byron York reports:

According to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has closely tracked Obamacare for years, 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. That’s an eight-percentage-point jump in unfavorability over last month, and a two-point drop in favorability over the same time.

Why the shift? It’s not because millions of Americans have suddenly become conservative Republicans. Kaiser found that disapproval of Obamacare has risen across the board. Among Democrats, for example, the law’s unfavorable rating jumped six points in July, while its favorable rating fell four points. A similar thing happened among independents and — it hardly seemed possible — among Republicans who already hated the law.

Obamacare’s unfavorables also rose among all income groups — people who make less than $40,000 a year, those who make between $40,000 and $90,000 a year, and those who make more than $90,000. The same among all age groups. And the same for race and ethnicity: Disapproval rose among whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

Rather than a shift among some identifiable group, Obamacare’s rising unpopularity seems to be a product of the simple fact that, several months into its implementation, more and more people are having personal experience with the law.

Remember how Democrats swore people would love the law, once they got some experience with it? Critics suspected that was wishful thinking, and we seem to have been right.

Read the rest of York’s article for the details, but this is really the result of two things: 1) monumental progressive arrogance in seizing control of a health insurance system that a majority of the nation was satisfied with, substituting their judgement for that of their constituents and face-slapping the constitutional order in the process; and 2) doing a crappy job of writing the actual legislation, causing all sorts of problems for people across the nation. After the disruption of doctor-patient relationships, shrunken provider networks, increased deductibles, and massive cancellations of policies people were happy with —and the savaging of large group plans is still to come!—  after all that, is it any wonder more and more people hate this thing, the more they get to know it?

Obamacare has been pushed into the background somewhat, as other crises du jour have taken it’s place on the front pages. But it’s still there, and it is still going to annoy the heck out of people, especially as the rate increases hit this summer and group policies start getting cancelled. And you can bet that surveys like this one fill Democrats with dread as we approach November.

As they should.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Survey shows elderly voters fleeing Democrats

March 31, 2014

Fail

This news from Gallup probably has staff of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reaching for a bottle:

U.S seniors — those aged 65 and older — have moved from a reliably Democratic group to a reliably Republican one over the past two decades. From 1992 through 2006, seniors had been solidly Democratic and significantly more Democratic than younger Americans. Over the last seven years, seniors have become less Democratic, and have shown an outright preference for the Republican Party since 2010.

In 1992, 53% of senior citizens, on average, identified as Democrats or said they were independents but leaned Democratic, while 39% identified as Republicans or leaned Republican, resulting in a 14-percentage-point Democratic advantage in seniors’ party affiliation. Last year, 48% of seniors identified as or leaned Republican, and 45% Democratic, a three-point Republican advantage.

It’s a truism of American politics that older, retired voters tend to turn out for elections more than other demographic groups. In a midterm election, such a self-motivated group can have an outsized influence because other groups often aren’t as enthusiastic to vote when the election lacks the drama of a presidential race.

The Democrats remember what happened in the last midterm election, which was a slaughter for them at both the federal and state levels. Without the Obama of 2008 or even 2012 at the top of their ticket (1), that eager-to-vote “senior bloc” could again make a serious difference.

Gallup goes into a long analysis of the influence ethnic factors might have on the elderly shifting toward Republicans (they tend to be more White as a group), and it’s an interesting read. But, I’ll offer another explanation which I, without doing any polling, think plays a much larger roll:

People don’t like being lied to.

That’s what Obama and the Democratic Party did when they promised a) if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; b) if you like your insurance plan, you can keep your insurance plan; and c) we won’t touch Medicare.

Lie. Lie. Lie.

That last is especially galling to seniors, because the Medicare Advantage program is very popular and Obamacare just guts it. Perhaps there’s a general unhappiness among the elderly with the administration and the direction of the nation (I’d be surprised if there weren’t), but the cuts to Medicare and the interference in the doctor-patient relationship is very immediate, very personal and very probably frightening for many of these people. They’ve been lied to, they’ve been played for suckers, and no one I know likes that feeling, or the persons who made them feel that way.

And that’s why this poll has to have Harry Reid retreating to his Happy Place, because it looks very much like payback for those lies is coming soon.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt

Footnote:
(1) They’re probably grateful the Obama of 2014 isn’t, either.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


At last, someone has found the best strategy for @TheDemocrats

March 14, 2014
Not trolling

Concern troll

Examining the utterly brutal numbers (PDF) for the Democrats in a poll conducted jointly by The Wall St. Journal and NBC, David Freddoso offered this advice:

So anyway, the ideal campaign for Democrats would send President Obama to Hawaii for a few months, run ads against the health care law they all voted for (they’re already all over this one), send Bill Clinton out to stump in as many races as possible, and hope for the best.

I’d accuse David of concern-trolling, but he’s too nice  guy for that.  Me, on the other hand…

Still don’t get why Bill Clinton is so popular, though.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s #Obamacare enrollment deadline day. Updated

December 23, 2013
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

This is it, folks! (Well, maybe. Kinda. See below.) This is the day by which all of you who have no insurance, whether you couldn’t afford it, chose as a free human being not to buy it, or had it ripped away from you by Nanny State (in the form of the Democratic Party (1) and their Affordable Care Act (2)), had to enroll and pay for a government-approved plan — with higher premiums, larger deductibles, bigger co-pays, services you didn’t want or need, and smaller provider networks that may not include your doctor.

And what does America think on this most momentous of days?

They ain’t happy.

A new poll finds support for Obamacare slumping to an all-time low as the administration hits its deadline to register consumers for coverage on Jan. 1.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday, 35 percent say they support President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, a drop of 5 points in under a month. Nearly two-thirds, at 62 percent, say they oppose the health law, a rise of 4 points since November.

(…)

The push to boost low enrollment figures has targeted young people and women, but the new CNN poll finds that more women now oppose the health care law. Sixty percent of women have a negative view of Obamacare, up from 54 percent in November.

(…)

The survey finds that 63 percent believe the law will cost them more for their health care, with just 7 percent saying the amount they pay for medical care will drop. Nearly 3 in 10 say it will not change.

Overall, 42 percent say they will be personally worse off and 16 percent say they will be better off under Obamacare. Forty percent say the law will have no effect.

For some reason, a majority think they’ll be able to keep their physicians and provider network. Expect that to change as people start trying to see their physicians in the new year.

The number for women is almost staggering, since that tends to be the demographic that most closely watches healthcare issues and has been generally supportive of doing something to spread the safety net, if not particularly an ACA-style solution. But, if numbers among women are cratering like that… Well, I hope Obama ordered a double mai-tai in Hawaii.

On a more personal note, I can finally say I know someone harmed by this abomination of a law. While I won’t mention his name or specific circumstances, out of respect for his privacy, I learned last night that an acquaintance suffering from a serious chronic condition only found out yesterday that his insurance, which he was satisfied with, is being canceled as of January 1st. He now has to deal with Covered California’s site, choose a plan, enroll, and pay (How?) by the end of the day today. And hope against hope he can find a plan he can afford that gives him anywhere near the coverage he has today. Assuming his application doesn’t get screwed up somewhere along the line. (3)

Great work, Democrats! What a wonderful present for the people for this Christmas season! I’m sure many millions will remember what you’ve done for to them, come November, 2014.

BREAKING: Obama rides to the rescue!

While writing this, I saw that the administration of President Peron Obama has extended –without congressional authority– the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare insurance.

By a whole 24 hours:

At midnight Monday, the official deadline arrives for Americans to sign up through the new federal health insurance exchange for health plans that begin Jan. 1. But, without any public announcement, Obama administration officials have changed the rules so that people will have an extra day to enroll, according to two individuals with knowledge of the switch.

Over the weekend, government officials and outside IT contractors working on the online marketplace’s computer system made a software change that automatically gives people a Jan. 1 start date for their coverage as long as they enroll by 11:59 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Note that the changes were made secretly, because they were afraid their “repaired” site might crash under the load of last-minute enrollments. But they didn’t want to tell anyone that, lest people delay further. And, oh yeah, it’s another in the long, lengthening string of unilateral changes, exceptions, and waivers the administration has made to deal with the never-ending problems Obamacare is creating.

via Eliana Johnson

RELATED: Jim Geraghty surveys the latest bad news for Obamacare apologists. Yuval Levin says the administration is pounding on the panic button. An editorial from last summer, but still spot-on: Obamacare is a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem.

UPDATE: Trying to out-Scrooge Scrooge, California has refused to abide by the administration’s extension of the deadline:

California’s health insurance exchange is holding firm to its enrollment deadline today for customers who want coverage beginning at the start of the year, officials said Monday.

Earlier in the day, the White House announced the federal deadline was being delayed 24 hours — from 11:59 p.m. Monday to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said they made the move for Healthcare.gov customers as part of a good-faith effort to ensure those who needed coverage by Jan. 1 would be able to log-in and sign up.

California, which operates its own health insurance exchange, said customers must act Monday.

They’ll cut you a little slack if you start late today and take into the wee hours tomorrow to finish, so no whining! On the payment question, you have until January 6th for coverage beginning January 1st. If you can figure out how to pay, that is…

Footnotes:
(1) Remember, not a single Republican voted for this mess, and we’ve voted repeatedly to repeal it and bury its staked corpse at a crossroads at midnight.
(2) George Orwell! Paging Mr. George Orwell!
(3) Fingers crossed tightly. He’s a very nice guy, and I can only imagine what he’s going through today.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


If only they would allow do-overs in elections…

November 19, 2013
"Voters' remorse"

“Voters’ remorse”

Mitt Romney would win in a landslide:

The results overall represent a sharp turnaround in fortune for Obama and his party, which just a month ago were ascendant over the Republicans in views of the budget dispute that led to a partial government shutdown. Today 45 percent of Americans call Obama “too liberal,” matching the high, and 46 percent say the same about the Democratic Party. And perhaps adding insult to injury, registered voters divide numerically in Mitt Romney’s favor, 49-45 percent, if they had a mulligan for the 2012 presidential election. While the difference between the two is within the poll’s error margin, Obama’s support is 6 points below his actual showing a year ago.

And almost all of this is traceable to the fallout from the Obamacare fiasco and from people eyes finally being opened about what a bunch of mendacious creeps the President and the national Democrats are. From another portion of the ABC poll:

Other ratings of the president’s performance have tumbled as well. He’s at career lows for being a strong leader, understanding the problems of average Americans and being honest and trustworthy – numerically under water on each of these (a first for the latter two). His rating for strong leadership is down by 15 points this year and a vast 31 points below its peak shortly after he took office. In a new gauge, just 41 percent rate him as a good manager; 56 percent think not.

This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that the president’s personal image has suffered alongside his professional ratings. Fewer than half, 46 percent, see him favorably overall, down 14 points this year to the fewest of his presidency. Fifty-two percent now view him unfavorably, a new high and a majority for the first time since he took office. It may matter: Personal popularity can provide a president with cushioning when the going gets rough. Losing it leaves the president more vulnerable.

Obama’s personal popularity in spite of the public not liking many of his policies has always puzzled and frustrated me. It’s served as  a shield for him in the past, but, as the poll shows, that shield is gone for now, and likely for good.

But the fallout hasn’t just hit Obama:

The poll produces evidence that the ACA could spell trouble for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections. Americans by a 16-point margin, 37-21 percent, are more likely to oppose than to support a candidate for Congress who favors Obamacare. That’s opened up from an even score in July 2012. (Using an intensity rating – those who are “much” more or less likely to support a candidate who backs the ACA – it’s still 15 points negative, vs. 2 points last year.)

The health care law looks most politically hazardous in the states that backed Mitt Romney in 2012; there Americans by 3-1, 46-15 percent, say they’re more inclined to oppose than to support a candidate who favors the law. But the ACA’s no help even in the blue states that backed Obama; while the division is far closer, 31 percent in those states are inclined to oppose an ACA-linked candidate, vs. 25 percent who’d be more apt to support one.

And thus we see why congressional Democrats are panicking and starting to jump ship: things are bad enough for them now, but, when the employer mandate (1) kicks in starting in Fall, 2014, the ACA rollout might well turn the 2014 midterm into an anti-Democratic “wave election” that will make the 2010 results look like a ripple in a pond.

The ACA is destroying Obama’s second term.

Pauses. Thinks.

Why, yes. I think I will have another helping of schadenfreude, thanks!

PS: Turning back to Romney, I still maintain that, while he would have frustrated me at times as president, he would have been a far better Chief Executive  than Obama — and a better man, too.

Footnote:
(1) The ABC poll shows people still favor the employer mandate. I suspect a large fraction of those have no idea that their nice group policies are on the block, too. Expect that number to tank fast next summer.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)