Off To Rocky Start, Obamacare Remains Unpopular With Most Americans

U.S. President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform remains unpopular with most Americans amid major problems with the plan's website.

A Gallup poll released Wednesday found that Americans overall disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, with 50 percent of respondents disapproving of the law and 45 percent approving, although approval of the law has inched up in recent weeks among Democrats.

The poll came after the Oct. 1 launch of www.healthcare.gov, the website that forms the law's centerpiece. The site is riddled with technical problemes preventing many visitors from completing enrollment, which has sparked much criticism from U.S. media, pundits and the Republican Party.

A dog-eat-dog political fight over the Obamacare between the White House and Congressional Republicans led to a 16-day government shutdown this month and pushed the country into a dangerous brink of a default on its debt.

The ongoing Congressional strife over Obamacare underscores the larger fight over the country's future direction, with progressive Democrats preferring a larger government with more spending and safety nets and Republicans favoring a smaller government and less spending at a time when the country's 17 trillion U.S. dollar debt roughly equals its gross domestic product.

"This is much bigger than Obamacare. At the end of the day what this is really about is whether progressive, big government solutions can make the lives of middle class Americans better," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

"If they can't, the GOP is going to be in a better position in 2016," he said, referring to the next U.S. presidential elections. "But if Obamacare proves to be relatively successful, then progressives have a peg to hang their hat on."

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua 

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