Views on ‘Obamacare’ Unchanged Since Supreme Court Decision

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A new poll out today measures early reaction to the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision announced last Thursday. According to the poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), Americans’ views on the court’s decision are divided, with 47 percent in favor of the resolution, 43 percent against and 10 percent unsure. For those prognosticating that the decision marks some sort of turning point in public reaction to the health care law (or the presidential election), the numbers don’t really bear that out.

Many observers have wondered in recent days whether the Supreme Court’s ruling would change overall views on the long-contested law itself, or alternately if the decision would galvanize the intensity of one political party more than the other. This early snapshot of opinion suggests that, at least in the first days after the court ruling, the overall shape of public opinion on the ACA hasn’t changed, with the public still split at 41 percent favorable, 41 percent unfavorable, and 18 percent undecided. The partisan divide that lies beneath is also unchanged.

Graph showing public opinion of Affordable Care Act since its passage in March 2010; Credit: Kaiser Family Foundation

One thing that did change is the intensity of support Democrats say they have for Obamacare. Forty-seven percent Democrats told pollsters they have a very favorable view of the law, compared with just 31 percent prior to the decision. That’s an “all-time high” in KFF polling — more than the 43 percent of Democrats who said they were very enthusiastic about the law in the weeks following its passage in April 2010. Republicans reporting a very unfavorable opinion of the law remained pretty static at 64 percent compared with 69 percent before Thursday.

A majority of Americans — 56 percent — say they would “like to see the law’s detractors stop trying to block its implementation and instead move on to other national problems.” Thirty-eight percent say opponents should continue to try to halt the law. Those who identify themselves as non-leaning independents (51 percent, representing 10 percent of the public overall) said they would like to see politicians opposed to the healthcare law move on to other issues. Only 35 percent said that they hoped opponents would continue in their efforts to overturn it.

Opinions and politics aside, most Americans still don’t understand all the reforms included in the Affordable Care Act, at least according to a quiz* also produced by KFF. Quiz takers can compare their results on the 10-question quiz with others and, interestingly, see which questions most people got wrong or right. Go to the KFF site to see what your Obamacare IQ is, and what parts of the bill are least understood.

* We posted a link to the Bill Moyers Facebook Fan page. Moyers & Company fans are very well informed (or so they say). Many reported getting 10 out of 10 questions right on the quiz.

Take the quiz and tell us how you did!

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  • Forrest

    Please refer to this by its proper name, Affordable Health Care Act.

  • Jan LaBouve Remling

    Let’s all understand ACA first and live with it for awhile before we pass judgement.

  • Stephen Love

    The 10% “unsure” are the target market for unrelenting pitch saturating media that explains the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.  Pre-existing conditions alone:  the bullet point that most people can relate to…..unrelenting, laser-focused, 100% on-topic messaging to blow away the effect of the billionaires’ attempted coup d etat.

  • Jeff London

    very difficult to comprehend that peoples are blind to themselves and others….
    needs of all that alsoequalize benefits…save money…make the system more complete…better operative…
    that some people are led by “cult” explanations/ opinions not based upon fact…is truly incredible…especially as they are being manipulated either by big money or opinions based uponparticular religious beliefs…no one method…no one belief…no one religion should be the basis of what is…we are a variety of people…as is the world…surrey each of us has room to follow our personal mindful guides…not others that demand only theirs…”why can’t people get along???”

  • JonThomas

     How about we call it the beginnings of Government mandated, citizen capitulation to corporate interest.

    This law, in the wake of Citizen’s united, with corporations now seen legally as people, sets an extremely worrisome precedent.

    Being “penalized,” or “taxed,” or some later to be decided upon synonym, for not doing business with the private sector, takes the inalienable “right to liberty” away from all citizens.

  • JonThomas

     Let’s all be happy that you are volunteering to pay our living expenses until we establish a single payer, Government administrated, universal healthcare system.

  • JonThomas

     You really aren’t getting that it’s not the billionaires who are upset at this mandate.

    The poorest of us will have to foot the bill before we get rebated help(if we qualify.)

    Yes, the 1% are against all types of tax and unquestionably against Government over-reach, but the poorest of us are the ones who were sold out by this legislation.

    The rich already have healthcare.

    Sure, closing the doughnut hole, and guaranteeing coverage for preexisting conditions, are laudable endeavors, but this will put another unrelenting burden on an already financially haggard populace.

    Worst, if I can’t pay a bill to a company, such as a utility, I lose their service. Now, if I can’t afford to put the money upfront(if I qualify for assistance) for insurance, then I get late fees, interest, dropped, and then “taxed.”

    I can’t choose to not do business with the private sector. There are so many practical financial, and philosophical/ideological problems it makes the head spin.

    Single payer, Universal, Government administrated healthcare systems are sane, internationally accepted, proven systems which work.


  • JonThomas

     No single set of rules for grammar…taught in Government funded schools…completely unbiased…standardized tested…underfunded…rational…ESL equipped…that we all are compelled to attend…can inadequately prepare us to manipulate the incredible easy concept of a Government run system…that although imperfect…works!!!

  • Ray Slepian

    I consider it similar to a ‘make-up’ call in Basketball, still I am happy that it turned out this way.

  • Brod26113

    I say give it a chance.

  • Anonymous

    Obama is supposed to be an intelligent politician.  Only a fool would create health care legislation that doesn’t even kick in for most people until 2014!   If voters don’t see an improvement in their personal lives, they will believe the GOP propaganda.

  • mbrecker

    Millionaires in Congress have govt. care (universal care) during their career. Unlimited health care with full pay. Then, they keep it for life. Why can’t we have that too?