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Fox News Poll: Half think Obama 'knowingly lied' to pass health care law

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Nov. 13, 2013: President Barack Obama speaks at the 2013 Tribal Nations Conference at the Interior Department in Washington. (AP)

Half of voters believe President Obama “knowingly lied” when he repeatedly told Americans they could keep their plans under his signature health care law. 

In addition, record-high numbers now disapprove of Obama’s job performance -- both overall and on health care, according to the latest Fox News poll.

Obama repeatedly vowed that under the Affordable Care Act, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.  Period.”  Fifty percent of voters believe the president knew he was lying.  Four in 10 think Obama didn’t know the law would cause people to lose their insurance (40 percent). 

Click here for the poll results.

Seventy-nine percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats believe Obama knowingly lied to get the law passed.

Furthermore, a 59-percent majority believes the administration knew ahead of time that people would be kicked off their insurance because of the law, and 55 percent think the White House has “tried to deceive” people about it.  Some 38 percent say the administration has “been honest.”

The lack of trust extends to Obama’s recent apology to Americans losing their insurance because of Obamacare.  While 38 percent of voters believe the apology was sincere, many more -- 58 percent -- feel it was “mostly for political reasons.”

The president’s job rating on health care needs emergency care:  a record-low 36 percent of voters approve.  That’s down from 45 percent approving last month when the health exchanges had just opened (October 1-2, 2013). 

At the same time a record-high 61 percent disapprove of Obama’s performance on health care.  That’s up 10 percentage points in just over a month. 

The president only performs worse on one issue -- the federal deficit.  An all-time low 29 percent of voters approve, while a record-high 66 percent disapprove.

Overall, Obama’s job rating has never been more negative:  40 percent approve and an all-time high 55 percent disapprove.  He also receives a record 63 percent disapproval rating among independents.

Obama’s approval has hit a low of 40 percent twice before (September 2013 and December 2010). 

A year ago, 48 percent approved of Obama and 46 percent disapproved (December 2012). 

For comparison, at the same point in George W. Bush’s presidency and in the middle of the Iraq war, 36 percent approved of the job he was doing and 53 percent disapproved (November 2005).

Perceptions of Obama’s leadership are also under water.  Forty percent rate his leadership skills positively (excellent or good).  On the other side, 60 percent rate him as only fair or poor. 

Voters are three times as likely to view Obama’s leadership skills as poor (39 percent) compared to excellent (13 percent).

On health care specifically, more than half of voters lack confidence in the president’s leadership (56 percent), and most voters doubt the health care exchange website will be working by the new November 30 deadline (69 percent). 

The poll also finds 63 percent think implementation of Obamacare should be delayed a year, up from 57 percent who felt that way a month ago. 

Forty-four percent of Democrats want the law delayed until more details are ironed out. 

The consensus among voters is their health plan hasn’t changed because of Obamacare (71 percent).  Among those seeing a change, they are much more likely to say it’s a change for the worse (21 percent) than the better (6 percent).

At the same time, the number saying they feel “worried” about their personal health care in the future is down a couple notches to 63 percent.  Sixty-six percent were worried six months ago (June 2013).  Some 27 percent feel “reassured” by Obamacare now.

Overall, 46 percent want to throw out the health care law and “start over,” while 42 percent say “keep trying to fix it” and another 10 percent say we should “leave it alone.” 

Poll Pourri

Who do voters blame most for problems with the Obamacare roll-out?  The Obama administration tops the list (39 percent).  Far fewer blame the contractors who designed the website (20 percent).  About one in 10 blames Congressional Republicans (11 percent) and insurance companies (10 percent).

Some lawmakers are calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign over the troubled roll-out.   For voters, half think Sebelius should “stay and try to fix” things, while 24 percent would fire her and another 19 percent say she should resign. 

A 58-percent majority would have “more respect” for Sebelius if she stayed and tried to fix the problems than if she took the blame and resigned (35 percent). 

Sebelius testified during a recent hearing on Capitol Hill that the government doesn’t require navigators on the federal health care website to pass a background check, even though they have access to the personal data of people signing up.  When pushed by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, she admitted it was possible convicted felons could be hired as navigators.  Almost all voters -- 86 percent -- think it is unacceptable for the government to hire people to work on the website without doing a background check first.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of voters generally don’t trust the federal government to keep their personal information confidential (68 percent), and six in 10 doubt that private information entered into the government’s health care website will be kept private (60 percent). 

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from November 10-12, 2013.  The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.