An annual poll released last week by the Department of Political Science at Montana State University-Billings (MSUB) found that 56 percent of Montanans now oppose the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. That represents a five percent increase from the same poll’s findings from a year ago. Fewer than 30 percent of Montanans expressed support for the health care law.
The poll was conducted by MSUB students and faculty between October 7 and October 10, after the Obamacare insurance exchanges launched, and consisted of a random statewide telephone survey of 410 Montanans. The yearly poll asks Montanans a variety of questions on political issues facing the nation and state and is often seen as a bellwether for the state political climate.
The MSUB poll also found that independent voters in Montana oppose Obamacare by a nearly 2-to-1 margin (64 percent opposed versus 36 percent who supported or had mixed feelings about the law).
The October 1 launch of the Obamacare online insurance exchanges — where individuals can purchase subsidized health insurance plans — is now widely seen as a fiasco. Media Trackers reported last week that Montana had just 30 confirmed signups on its federally run exchange. Recent studies have also shown that Montanans will face significant health insurance premium hikes.
Overall, the poll was not kind to President Obama. The President’s approval rating in the state was found to be just 29 percent, down from 37 percent in last year’s poll. Obama’s disapproval rating among independents is at 80 percent.