President Obama’s approval rating has declined to an all-time low as public frustration with Washington and pessimism about the nation’s direction continue to grow, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Just 42% approve of the president’s job performance, which is down five points from earlier this month, and 51% disapprove of his job in office – tied for his all-time high.
The NBC/WSJ pollsters attribute the drop to the accumulation of setbacks since the summer – allegations of spying by the National Security Agency, the debate over Syria’s chemical weapons, the government shutdown and now intense scrutiny over the problems associated with the healthcare law’s federal website and its overall implementation.
And for the first time since he took office, even Obama’s personal ratings are upside-down, with 41% viewing him favorably and 45% viewing him negatively. The question is, why now?
While the problems cited in the paragraph above have played a significant role, there is something much bigger going on here: It’s now clear to the nation that the president knowingly lied to us about Obamacare.
In dozens of speeches over the last three years, Obama has stated: If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period. That assurance was the only reason the law narrowly passed, without a single Republican vote.
Now the nation knows that Obama’s promises simply were not true and he knew it. Period.
Millions of Americans are (or soon will be) receiving notices from their health insurance companies that their policies are being canceled. There are apprx. 14 million Americans who buy their health insurance individually, as opposed to those who get group insurance at work.
It is now estimated that 50-80% of these 14 million people will see their individual health insurance policies canceled between now and early next year.
The healthcare law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even if they don’t meet the requirements of the new healthcare law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date – the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example – the policy would not be grandfathered.
Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policies. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”
That means the Obama administration knew in 2010 that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.
Making matters worse, Health Policy and Strategy Associates, an industry consulting firm, estimates that 80% of those in the individual market will not be able to keep their current policies and will have to buy insurance that meets requirements of the new law, which will almost certainly cost more than the coverage they have now.
Yet only recently, as the cancellation notices started to hit, has President Obama stopped saying, “If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan…”
With all the other scandals over the last year, and now this, it’s no wonder his approval ratings are tanking!