Obamacare has taken on a political life of its own, largely separate from the complex series of health care policies it actually comprises.
The health care law has essentially become a proxy for the president who signed it—voters' approval or disapproval of the Affordable Care Act is largely a reflection of how they feel about President Obama, rather than what they think the health care law has or hasn't done.
Democrats hoped for years that Obamacare would become less of an abstraction once its biggest benefits kicked in. That doesn't appear to be happening, if the Kaiser Family Foundation's latest tracking poll is any guide. Partisanship is much better than personal experience at predicting whether voters will approve or disapprove of the health care law.
Kaiser asked registered voters how they would respond if a candidate supported Obama, and if a candidate voted for the Affordable Care Act. The breakdowns are almost identical: 72 percent of Republicans would be less likely to vote for a candidate because he or she voted for Obamacare; 83 percent are less likely to vote for someone who supports Obama.
Conversely, 52 percent of Democrats said they'd be more likely to support a candidate who supports Obama, and 53 percent said they'd be more likely to support someone who supports Obamacare.