Tags: Healthcare Reform | Supreme Court | National Journal | obamacare | affordale care act | healthcare.gov

Report: Americans Evenly Divided on View of Obamacare

By    |   Friday, 24 Apr 2015 11:14 AM

Americans' opinions on Obamacare are almost evenly divided, and won't likely change that much even if the Supreme Court outlaws subsidies in its landmark ruling set for June, says columnist Charlie Cook in Friday's National Journal.

"Given that an adverse decision for the Obama administration would eliminate subsidies only for those who got their policies through HealthCare.gov, not through the state-run exchanges, it seems likely that a limited number of families might be badly hurt, but not enough of them to move public opinion that much," Cook said.

Plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case assert people who get subsidies through the federal exchange are getting them illegally, as the Affordable Care Act says that such aid is available only through state-established healthcare exchanges. But the Obama administration is arguing that when the bill passed, Congress intended for the subsidies to help everyone who enrolls in the program.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 did impact the two most recent midterm elections, helped to spawn the tea party and helped lead the GOP to a House majority in 2010 and a Senate majority last year, writes Cook, and public opinion has swayed radically over the past five years.

According to the most-recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, a survey of 1,506 adults nationwide from April 8-14, 43 percent said they have a favorable view of Obamacare and 42 percent an unfavorable one, and with the survey's three-point margin of error, that means a virtual tie, writes Cook. The numbers were almost the same in March, when 41 percent were favorable, 43 percent unfavorable.

The law had its highest ratings in July 2010, when 50 percent of those surveyed saw the law favorably and 31 unfavorably.

Over the years, the ACA's ratings were generally unfavorable, not favorable, said Cook, but last fall, the ratings started to climb again, until they leveled off, most likely because Americans have found, by 56 percent, that the law hasn't impacted them and their families, including 60 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents, and 55 percent of Republicans. However, the numbers remain low on whether Americans say the law helped them.

But still, one-third of Americans say they want the law repealed, mainly moving along party lines, with 60 percent of Republicans favoring repeal, but 37 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats holding the same view.

Party affiliation also explained the feelings of many surveyed: 70 percent of Democrats favor the act, compared to just 17 percent of Republicans.

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Americans' opinions on Obamacare are almost evenly divided, and won't likely change that much even if the Supreme Court outlaws subsidies in its landmark ruling set for June, says columnist Charlie Cook in Friday's National Journal.
National Journal, obamacare, affordale care act, healthcare.gov
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2015-14-24
Friday, 24 Apr 2015 11:14 AM
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