This weekend it will have been three years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Despite some optimistic claims that its popularity would soar after its passage, public support for the law remains weak. The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found 37 percent of Americans support the law while 40 percent oppose it.
Over the years the country continues to remains divided about the law. The most significant shift in public opinion is that after three years of the ACA doing almost nothing some Americans have stopped really caring about it.
The political decision to delay the implementation by an incredible four years has basically allowed the issue to fester. Instead of forcing Republicans and the public to accept a quick fait accompli, the long delay enabled opinions and positions to harden.
I don’t expect opinions about the law to change until it is fully implemented, and even that is not guaranteed to make the law more popular. Because of the patchwork nature of the exchanges and Medicaid expansion, implementation is liking going to be a mess.