Poll: The Surge in Public Opposition to National Health Care, Explained

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 18 2013 4:56 PM

Poll: The Surge in Public Opposition to National Health Care, Explained

For 13 years, Gallup has been asking voters whether the the government should "make sure" Americans have health insurance. The trends hardly need any explanation, but, well, just look for the moment they flip.

Screen shot 2013-11-18 at 4.23.42 PM

We all know what happened in 2008: A Democrat won the presidency. Most voters spent the year expecting one to win. Health insurance reform was going to happen. So whose mind did it change?

Screen shot 2013-11-18 at 4.27.54 PM

There we go: The independents. In two years, from 2007 to 2009, their opposition to mandated health insurance surged by 30 points. It's stayed largely negative since then, during the Obama presidency. In the longer term, from the Bush era to the Obama era, Republicans have moved from slight majority opposition to mandates (48 to 65 percent) to supermajority opposition (77 to 87 percent).

When does that change? What if it doesn't? It's the existential fear behind all of the Democratic health care panic—the fear that a public that used to blame private insurers for the cost of health care will start blaming the feds, and never stop.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.