We don't always like the policies that help us. The stimulus, which is deeply unpopular even though it arguably saved the economy, is one example. And that's also true of Obamacare, even among the people who have benefited from the healthcare system's overhaul.
The Urban Institute just released a new analysis of a survey of 8,000 adults conducted in September, and, unsurprisingly, there's not a lot of love for the Affordable Care Act.
Forty-one percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of Obamacare, compared with 28 percent who had a favorable view, and 30 percent who had no opinion.
Let's look at the findings one by one:
Americans most likely to have an unfavorable view of the ACA are in the middle- and higher- income groups, have private insurance, are in very good/excellent health, are White, and live in rural areas.
This gets at the idea that Obamacare is, in a way, redistributive—it's a transfer of wealth from the healthy to the unhealthy. If you're healthy, you might not have "needed" health insurance before, but you're now required to have it or pay a fine. And among those who already had insurance, 4.7 million people received letters saying that their private insurance had been cancelled in the wake of the law's implementation, mostly because the law puts new requirements on what health plans must cover.
But keep in mind that "healthy" and "unhealthy" are categories that hinge on fate. You can get hit by a bus even if you never touch potato chips and run marathons every year. So you can think of this as a transfer from the lucky to the unlucky, as Jonathan Cohn put it. Rich White people (a.k.a. historically lucky people) are not happy about this.