WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Obamacare could hurt Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.
A new CNN/ORC International poll finds that Republicans now hold a 49- to 47-percent edge among registered voters following the disastrous health care rollout. Last month, registered voters gave a 50- to 42-percent nod to Democrats after Republicans and the Tea Party were blamed for the government shutdown.
“If those patterns persist into 2014, it may indicate that Obamacare is popular among those who it was designed to help the most, but unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
President Barack Obama even admitted as much during a press conference two weeks ago that Democrats could take a hit because of the Affordable Care Act rollout.
“There is no doubt that our failure to rollout the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin,” Obama said.
Federal health officials revealed earlier this month that just 26,794 people enrolled for health insurance through HealthCare.gov during the first, flawed month of operations, and a total of 106,000 nationwide — a small fraction of what they had projected.
Days later, the House voted to weaken a core component of Obamacare and permit the sale of individual health coverage that falls short of requirements in the law. More than three dozen Democrats broke ranks and supported the legislation, a total that underscored the growing importance of the issue in the weeks since millions of cancellation notices went out to consumers covered by plans deemed inadequate under government rules.
“I’m concerned about my integrity with voters who have returned me here 38 years. They know me enough to know I wouldn’t purposely mislead them,” Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said. “They have that confidence in me, and I want them to continue to have that confidence in me.”
In the wake of growing criticism over the cancellations, Obama tried to make good on a previous promise, saying those who like their insurance can keep it for one more year. However, the ultimate decision still lies with insurers and state insurance commissioners.
A CBS News analysis found that nearly 5 million Americans would lose their current health plan due to Obamacare.
The poll was conducted from Nov. 18-20 with 843 adult Americans.
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