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Fox News Poll: 60 percent of voters think implementation of ObamaCare is 'a joke'

ObamaCaresite.jpg

Oct. 2, 2013: A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this photo illustration. (Reuters)

Six voters in ten describe implementation of ObamaCare as “a joke,” and more voters than not say problems with the government’s health insurance website are so bad someone should be fired, according to a Fox News national poll. 

The new poll, released Wednesday, also finds a majority continues to dislike President Obama’s signature achievement: 51 percent of voters use negative terms to describe the health care law, saying it is either “a step backward” or “disastrous.” That’s down two percentage points from 53 percent in August. On the other side, 44 percent describe ObamaCare positively, either as “wonderful” or “progress.” It was 43 percent two months ago. 

Most Democrats continue to describe the health care law positively: 12 percent “wonderful” and 62 percent “progress,” while most Republicans continue to call it “a step backward” (20 percent) or “disastrous” (66 percent).

Meanwhile, 60 percent of voters say the way the law is being carried out is “a joke.” That’s up just a touch from the 57 percent who felt that way in August. Likewise, 31 percent say things are “going fine” -- unchanged from this summer.

Click here for the poll results.

Is it so bad someone should be fired? By a margin of 49-38 percent, voters agree with President Obama’s former press secretary Robert Gibbs as well as others who say the problems on the government’s website are a firing offense. Another seven percent say it’s too soon to say.

A third of Democrats feel the way ObamaCare is being carried out is “a joke” (33 percent) and the same number says those accountable for the website should be fired (33 percent).

“It’s striking that even after the severely botched roll-out of the insurance exchange website that opinions of the health care law have barely budged,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News poll with Republican pollster Daron Shaw. “The government shutdown clearly backfired for Republicans. It drove down their own ratings while distracting attention from the website problems.”

According to Shaw, the lack of a shift in numbers despite the bad roll-out suggests one of two things is going on. “It may be that people have simply made up their minds about ObamaCare, so that TV ads and speeches and roll-out glitches don't matter. Or it may be that it's just too soon to assess the impact of the roll-out and the negative media coverage that's followed."

A 55-percent majority of those who accessed the government’s health insurance website say it didn’t go well. That includes 37 percent who say “not at all well.” Others had a better experience: 19 percent say it worked “very well” and another “25 percent” say it worked “somewhat well.” 

Overall, more voters would like to “get rid of” ObamaCare (51 percent) than keep the law in place (41 percent). In July, 53 percent said repeal it, while 40 percent said keep it. 

Voters are almost six times as likely to think the government shutdown and Republican attempts to delay or defund ObamaCare did more to hurt (39 percent) than help (7 percent) the GOP’s chances of killing the law. Just over half think the GOP’s actions didn’t make a difference either way (51 percent). 

Among Republicans, 10 percent say the shutdown helped their cause, 28 percent say it hurt and 58 percent say it didn’t make much difference. 

Poll Pourri

Almost all voters -- 92 percent -- think members of Congress and their staffs should be required to live under the laws passed for the American people. Six percent think there are times lawmakers should be given special rules or “exemptions.”

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,020 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 20-22, 2013. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.