By a 56 to 42 margin, Gallup reports Majority in U.S. Say Healthcare Not Government Responsibility.

Question: Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, or is that not the responsibility of the federal government?

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No Responsibility by Political Party

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Percentage Point Change Since 2000

  • Since 2000, the share of republicans who say healthcare is not the responsibility has increased from 53% to 86%, a rise of 33 percentage points.
  • Since 2000, the share of independents who say healthcare is not the responsibility has increased from 27% to 55%, a rise of 28 percentage points.
  • Since 2000, the share of democrats who say healthcare is not the responsibility has increased from 19% to 30%, a rise of 11 percentage points.

Percentage Point Change Since 2006

  • Since 2006, the share of republicans who say healthcare is not the responsibility has increased from 57% to 86%, a rise of 29 percentage points.
  • Since 2006, the share of independents who say healthcare is not the responsibility has increased from 25% to 55%, a rise of 30 percentage points.
  • Since 2006, the share of democrats who say healthcare is not the responsibility has increased from 10% to 30%, a rise of 20 percentage points.

In 2006, the overall share was 69% to 28% in favor of the view that healthcare was the responsibility! Now it is 56% to 46% against.

This is a startling change in sentiment in 7 years, especially among independents.

Gallp comments "It is possible that this sharp change has been caused by a politicization of the issue as it became a major part of Obama's campaign platform, and as he and other Democratic leaders pressed for and passed the ACA, sometimes called Obamacare, in 2010."

However, a close look at the timeline suggests Obamacare cannot be the blame for the bulk of the move. Between 2006 and 2009 the percentage changed from  69% to 28% in favor to 50% to 47% against. Since 2009, the sentiment change has been in the same direction (against the healthcare mandate), but the percentage point move was much smaller.

Something happened between 2006 and 2009. What was it? Housing collapse? Demographics? Boomer retirement? Medicare seen as "I got mine. I waited. You can wait too?"

The latter would require an illogical disassociation between Medicare and government sponsored healthcare.

Regardless of what happened, politically speaking, Obamacare came at a last-chance now-or-never point with public opinion split nearly 50-50.

For now, it's waiting time. The next presidential election will determine what major changes in healthcare are coming.

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