Karlyn Bowman and Andrew Rugg
Few pieces of contemporary legislation have receivedas much scrutiny and attention as the Affordable CareAct. Few have been as divisive. This document makes
it possible to see eight major pollster’s trends on the
bill and the law. For each pollster, opinions on the lawhave fluctuated in a narrow range, but they have beenmore negative than positive recently.Polls on President
handling of health caregenerally show more negative than positive views.Democrats have lost considerable ground on whether they or Republicans in Congress would better handlethe issue. NBC/WSJ shows Democrats with an 8 pointadvantage, down from a 16 point advantage inFebruary. Pew shows Republicans up one point onhandling health care.The economy and jobs are still the top issues of concern to Americans, but health care often ranksthird in terms of concern. However, the tone of the
public’s concern has changed. Recent polls show a
shift in opinions concerning the presumed impact of the bill on the country as a whole. In September 2012,a plurality said the country would be better off under the Obama health care plan. Now, a plurality thinks itwould be worse off. People have been more skepticalabout the impact on their families for some time.Currently, 24 percent think they would be better off,37 percent thought there would be no difference, and32 percent think they will be worse off under the law.As for what to do with the law now, a four-partquestion from CBS News shows opinions tilt mostlytoward repealing the law entirely (39 percent),followed by repealing the mandate (18 percent).Sixteen percent prefer to keep the law in place and, 20 percent wanted to expand it. Kaiser asks if peoplesupport defunding the law. Thirty-seven percentsupported defunding in their September poll.Full wording of the questions at the beginning of thedocument appear on pages 13 and 14.
AEI Special Poll Report: Health Care Update