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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