The Healthcare.gov Hangover

Obamacare Not Working

Kliff contemplates the disconnect between Obamacare’s success and the perception of that success. One big reason for it: Heathcare.gov:

“News about the problems with the exchanges was on a lot longer than any discussion of beating the enrollment goal,” [Kaiser’s Liz] Hamel says. “It’s possible that all the reports were still in the forefront of people’s minds.”

And its likely that most Americans are gauging their understanding of how well — or poorly — Obamacare is going from the news coverage. Most Americans already have health insurance, and aren’t shopping on the exchanges for new policies. So even if the Obamacare experience improves, most people won’t necessarily notice.

“So many people are not impacted by the law that they’re more likely to respond to messages in the media than they are to evaluate their own experience,” Hamel says. “That makes me think it will be a while before there’s any shift in how people think the law is going.”

Relatedly, Ezra listens to Scott Brown’s anti-Obamacare rhetoric:

Scott Brown, who’s now running for Senate in New Hampshire, has found the perfect position on Obamacare. He’s for it. He’s just not for calling it Obamacare.

In an interview with WBUR, he called Obamacare a “disaster.” Then he was asked what he’s for  — and he went on to describe Obamacare. … [T]he polls are clear. The American people don’t want Obamacare. However, they like what’s in Obamacare. And they don’t like it when Republicans try to get rid of Obamacare. Brown’s position shows Republicans a way out: a rebranding of Obamacare, accompanied, perhaps, by some vague tweaks and changes to be named later. Fauxbamacare, in other words.