The health care plan President Obama designed to save lives medically is killing him politically.
On October first, the big news in Washington was the shutdown, which Republicans instigated in an effort to repeal Obamacare.
As Congress argued, many government sites were closed,
so there was very little coverage when the web site for enrolling in Obamacare launched online, with welcoming, smiling faces.
As we all know now, the system crashed, and is still not functional.
But the president that day made it sound as if the problem could be solved in a day:
“We’re gonna be speeding this up in the next few hours to handle this demand that has exceeded anything we ever expected,” the president said.
On October first, polls showed 45% of Americans approved Obama’s job performance, but 51% disapproved.
With Democrats dividing over what to do about Obamacare, the president held what may be remembered as his “my bad” news conference, taking responsibility for the website disaster: “And you know, that’s on me. I mean we fumbled the rollout on this health care law,” said the president.
But the fumbles kept coming, and so did the sacks in the polls.
Today the president’s approval rate is down to 40%, and his disapproval up to 55%. Compare that to the October first figures: 45% approve, 51% disapprove.
And he has only himself to blame:
” I think that we probably underestimated the complexities of building out a website that needed to work the way it should,” President Obama said.
Coming up: the White House’s self-imposed November 30th deadline for making the health care website “work smoothly for the vast majority of users.”
If the site isn’t significantly improved by month’s end, the president’s popularity may never be, either.