Monday, July 30, 2012

Polls Shows No Clear Consensus on Affordable Care Act

A majority of Americans believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will improve circumstances for individuals who do not currently have health insurance and for people who get sick, according to a Gallup poll released on July 16, 2012. However, most people also believe that the law will have detrimental effects on taxpayers, businesses, doctors, and people who currently have health insurance. As for themselves, only 38 percent of respondents believed that their personal circumstances would be better as a result of the law.  Forty two percent of those surveyed predicted that, under the ACA, their personal situation would be worse.

As you might expect, there was huge difference in the way Democratics and Republicans perceive the law's potential effect. Most Democrats believe that the law will make things better for themselves, people who are currently uninsured, people who are currently insured, people who get sick, hospitals, doctors, businesses and taxpayers. About half of Republicans agree that the law would benefit people who are currently uninsured, but a majority believe that things will be worse rather than better for all of the other groups. 

An NPR poll, released a few days later, also refected those mixed feelings. While a majority of Americans disapprove of the ACA, (48 percent to 43 percent), a small majority (51 percent) prefer to amend the law rather than repealing it outright. That position was also favored by voters in key battleground states, where 53 percent agreed that amending the law was preferable to repealing it.



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