Opponents of President Obama's health care law overwhelmingly believe the Affordable Care Act will worsen the quality of their care, and even a plurality of the law's supporters don't think it will improve their health care, though they think it will benefit the poor and uninsured.
These findings from this week's United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll underscore why the law has become so politically precarious for the White House. Its primary goal was to expand access to millions of uninsured Americans, but voters are registering the most intense opposition out of fear it will adversely affect the quality of their care in the process. And even the law's boosters are skeptical of its impact on their care.
Those who disapprove of the measure feel more strongly than those who approve. In a new CBS News poll released Wednesday, the majority of respondents, 54 percent, said they disapprove of the health care law, while only 36 percent approved. But the poll also explored the intensity of those feelings: Only 15 percent "strongly approve," 21 percent "somewhat approve," 18 percent "somewhat disapprove," and 36 percent "strongly disapprove."
Overall, this week's poll found just 18 percent of Americans believed the law will improve their health care "at least somewhat," one-third believe it will make their care worse, and 41 percent think it won't have much of an impact at all.
Among the 36 percent of respondents who want to repeal Obamacare, two-thirds think it will make their health care worse. But the majority of those who are ambivalent and think it won't affect their own care actually expressed at least moderate support for allowing the law to stand.
If Republicans attempt to tie the fate of the law to funding the government for the next fiscal year and raising the U.S. debt limit, they will be counting on the stronger feelings of those who want it repealed to make stopping the law a crucial priority for their side.
The United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll was conducted July 18-21 and surveyed 1,000 adults via landline and cell phone. The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
This article appears in the July 26, 2013, edition of NJ Daily.