Late this evening news broke that the State of Indiana is now set to become the 16th US state to file a lawsuit against the federal government regarding Obamacare. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller made the announcement:
Indiana followed 13 other states Monday in planning to file a lawsuit against the recently passed health care bill.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller said an amended lawsuit will be filed soon in a federal court in Florida, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit will have a cost of $50,000 and will be divided among the 14 states.
Sen. Richard Lugar requested a report from Zoeller on Jan. 5, seeking a review on the bill that had been passed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 24.
In his report, Zoeller listed conflicts he found with the health care law, such as the requirement for U.S. residents to purchase a health care plan and fully funding the expansion of Medicaid only in Nebraska.
In the days and weeks to come, it will be interesting to see how the state-level partisan battles now occurring in many of the remaining 34 states that have not yet filed suit against the US government regarding the constitutionality of Obamacare turn out. If opponents manage to push the number of states even higher than the present 16, public opinion could move even more strongly against the far-flung, gigantic package of trillions in government spending and new taxes known as Obamacare.
With two days of polling completed after Thursday’s health care summit, President Barack Obama’s overall job approval fell to the lowest level of his Presidency amongst likely voters today, just 43% approval, with only 21% strongly approving of the President’s job performance. Strong disapproval of the President, conversely, has risen to a near all-time high of 43%, meaning that the President’s strong and soft supporters combined are now equal in number to his strong detractors amongst likely American voters. Overall, 55% of likely voters are either strong or soft opponents of the President as of today. The intense focus on the comprehensive health care reform package being pushed by Obama and Congressional Democrats appears to be taking a toll on the President’s support, similar to the prior low in support reached around the time of the Senate’s passage of Obamacare right before Christmas 2009:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 22% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21. That matches the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for President Obama.
The only other time the Approval Index was this low came in late December as the U.S. Senate prepared to approve its version of health care reform (see trends). Most voters continue to oppose the proposed health care plan.
The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates are also available on Twitter and Facebook.
Overall, 43% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. That is the lowest level of total approval yet measured for this President. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove. The President earns approval from 76% of Democrats while 86% of Republicans disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 38% approve and 61% disapprove. The President earns approval from 37% of men and 49% of women.
Data for these updates is collected via nightly telephone interviews and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. As a result, just two-thirds of the interviews for today’s update were collected following the President’s health-care summit. Tomorrow morning (Sunday) will be the first update based entirely upon interviews conducted after the summit.
Today’s all-time low of 43% in likely voter approval of Obama’s Presidency can perhaps be explained in part by the Obama/Democrat strategy to push ahead strongly with their Democrats-only comprehensive health care proposal in the face of universal GOP opposition. About 60% of American voters disapprove of that tactic as only 34% agree with the President that the comprehensive health care bill should move to final passage without any GOP support. The President also faces a twenty point net deficit in approval of his specific handling of the health care issue (Fox News poll:37%/56%; NYT/CBS poll: 35%/55%), and those polls were taken before the disappointing health care summit. CNN also found that a nearly three quarters (73%) of Americans want the President and Congress to either start from scratch on health care reform (48%) or stop work altogether (25%). Interestingly, CNN’s initial release on of these numbers omitted this critical finding, and CNN noted this finding only three days after the release of their numbers in the context of a preview of the already-taped Sunday show interview of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Washington (CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is dismissing Republican claims that recent polls support their opposition to the current health care proposals, countering that the real problem is that the American people don’t have a bill to judge.
“When we have a bill, which we will in a matter of days, then that is the bill that we can sell,” Pelosi told CNN’s Candy Crowley in an interview Friday. She added that the final legislation will settle differences between the House and Senate bills, and that Americans will be more supportive once the bill is released.
“I feel very confident about what’s in there,” she said.
The latest CNN/Opinion Research poll shows that nearly three quarters of respondents believe Congress should either start over on a new bill or drop health care reform altogether.
Earlier Friday, Speaker Pelosi told reporters she’s asking the Senate to “act upon” reconciliation to move forward, a legislative procedural tool that allows bills to pass with a simple majority.
Editor’s Note: Watch Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s interview with Candy Crowley on State of the Union this Sunday at 9am ET.
Further, Gallup’s daily tracking numbers released today confirm a downward slide in approval and surge in disapproval post-summit, with 49% of all adults (not likely voters as measured by the Rasmussen polling noted above) approving of the Obama Presidency while 45% disapprove. It should be noted as well that Gallup’s surveys are done during the day, while Rasmussen’s are done only in the evenings, meaning Gallup’s numbers today are only showng one day of impact from the summit, while Rasmussen’s show two days worth. Overall, the RCP (47.2%/47.1%) and Pollster.com (48.1%/46.8%, not including today’s Gallup/Rasmussen updates) averages of all Obama job approval polls show the President at about 47%-47% approval/disapproval. Finally, the overall voter approval of the health care plans before Congress stands at approximately 40%.
It could be that at times of intense focus on the Democratic plan to pass comprehensive health care reform, President Obama’s approval numbers tend to slide towards the level of public support that exists for Obamacare. Today, President Obama issued yet another Saturday message on Obamacare, keeping the public’s focus on this issue, this time imploring Americans and Congress with “lets get this done.” Considering the overall unpopularity of his comprehensive health care reform plan, and the findings of the CNN, NYT/CBS, Rasmussen, Fox and Gallup polls listed above, it appears that Americans may disagree.
UPDATE: Ed at Hotair covers the Saturday morning Obama message of “so lets get this done” on Obamacare, and notes Obama’s odd usage of Olympic spirit in support of his unpopular bill:
I … did not see this coming. But after a thousand speeches and interviews on this subject, it stands to reason that he’s running low on material. So here’s his entry, I guess, in the local junior-high “What the Olympics Mean to Me” essay contest. Hope you win those Miley Cyrus tickets, champ. For bonus fun, try to imagine the left’s reaction if Palin had touted the Games as inspiration for the Dems to, say, abandon reconciliation. Oh, those simple-minded, pandering teabaggers…
It’ll be sweet watching him back away from this hosanna to national unity next week after he gives the order to nuke the GOP’s filibuster. (One of Pelosi’s top aides claims they’re “reasonably confident” they can get a bill through the House if Reid can get 50 in the Senate.)