Obamacare and the Battle for Public Opinion
It appears that September through December has been a pivotal time in shaping Americans’ opinions on Obamacare. CNBC’s latest All-American Economic Survey highlights changes in attitudes and growing confusion over Obamacare since September. According to the survey, those who hold a negative view of the law rose one point to 47 percent. Favorable opinions declined from 29 percent in September, to 26 percent for December. Neutrality was the position of 11 percent (a two percent increase) and 16 percent said they did not know enough to answer; in September, 12 percent had the same opinion.
The changes are not drastic, but the continued downward trajectory is not helpful for President Obama’s signature piece of legislation. Enrollment through Healthcare.gov began on October 1. The dismal state of the website detracted from President Obama being able to promote the law, as the administration scrambled to find fix the issues so people could begin signing up for coverage.
The White House originally had a public relations push planned to kick-off with the website. In July, The Hill reported that Health and Human Services had added $33 million to its ObamaCare’s PR contract with Weber Shandwick. This was in addition to two other Shandwick contracts, valued at $3 million, and $8 million. Another contract had been signed with Porter Novelli, a PR firm.