Politics

Poll: Opposition to Obamacare softens

Public support for the Affordable Care Act jumped after the Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling upholding its constitutionality, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday.

The poll found that support for the law rose to 48 percent from 43 percent, with opposition declining to 52 percent from 57 percent.

The poll was conducted online and showed increased support for the law from Republicans and independents.

However, other polls have shown that public opinion has not changed significantly and probably won’t change much before the election.

“It’s hard to believe that public opinion will change between now and Election Day because opinion on the law hasn’t budged in two years,” writes pollster Scott Rasmussen. “In fact, support for repeal now is exactly the same as it was when the law first passed.”

A Rasmussen poll from June 29-30 shows that 52 percent of Americans want to see the law repealed, compared to 55 percent in March 2010. Thirty-nine percent of Americans oppose repeal, down from 42 percent in March 2010.

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Rasmussen argues that many people supported health care reform to see prices reduced, “but 18 percent believe the current law will accomplish that goal,” he said, adding that a “massive 81 percent also believe it will end up costing the government more than projected.”

Another reason to doubt that attitudes toward the law will change much before the election is that most Americans don’t believe health care is a top priority.

Gallup polls indicate that health care is not considered a major problem for Americans. In June only six percent of Americans identified health care as a top problem, below the average of eight percent saying health care is a top problem since January 2001.

Health care did become a top problem for 26 percent of Americans between August and September of 2009, when it was being pushed by President Barack Obama and debated in Congress. After the law was passed, however, health care dropped as a top concern and has not risen above double digits since February 2011.

Republicans in Congress have vowed to repeal the law, and the debate might become a major campaign theme ahead of the November election.

“I think today’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety,” Republican House Speaker John Boehner said after the Supreme Court decision. “Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the American people and not repeat the mistakes that gave our country this harmful law.”

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said that the law was still unconstitutional, adding, “This now means we fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new President and a new Senate to repeal Obamacare.”

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