An Associated Press-GfK poll released last week reports that a large majority of Americans are blaming the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for making health insurance much less affordable. But the AP story added that's "even though the trend toward leaner coverage predates the law's passage."
Robert Blendon, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, gave this similarly fuzzy assessment of the poll: "Rightly or wrongly, people with private insurance looking at next year are really worried about what is going to happen."
"Rightly or wrongly?"
Sure, some insurance plans would have cost more and delivered less even without Obamacare. And some Americans are blaming the law for some insurance problems it didn't necessarily create.
Still, the overwhelming public realization that Obamacare is a bad deal for most Americans - and a significant factor in their diminishing insurance options - is on target.
Congress passed the massive, landmark legislation in 2010 without a single Republican vote, and with 34 House Democrats voting against it.
The bill's critics repeatedly - and rightly - warned that it would induce severely negative side-effects on the health insurance marketplace over both the short and long terms.
Yet President Barack Obama repeatedly told Americans who were fine with their insurance coverage as it was, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."
No, they can't. And they understandably don't like being taken in by that presidential pitch for this unaffordable mess of a law.
After Americans in large numbers started finding out in October that they couldn't keep those insurance plans they liked under Obamacare, the president apologized for not being "as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place."
Mr. Obama said of Americans who had lost their plans because of the law: "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me."
And the president has subsequently said: "What we're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy."
Huh? The president who presumed to fundamentally transform American health care didn't know that "insurance is complicated to buy"?
Regardless, apologizing or pleading ignorance can't erase the president's responsibility for a debacle with far worse consequences than the ongoing problems with the HealthCare.gov website.
Neither can polls that aim to blame Obamacare's plummeting popularity on public confusion.
The law's public-relations nose dive is not the result of a public misperception.
It's the product of Obamacare's mandates (at least the ones the president hasn't postponed via self-serving executive edict) wreaking predictable havoc on our nation's health care system.