Poll: Opinion of Obamacare Largely Unchanged

Tea Party member Janis Haddon of Atlanta, Georgia, tries to fend off Obamacare supporter Yasemin Ayarci (L) of Levittown, Pennsylvania, as Ayarci counter protests a Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court of March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court continued to hear oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
National Journal
Nov. 19, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

The rocky Obama­care rol­lout has had only a mod­est ef­fect on pub­lic sup­port for the law, ac­cord­ing to a Re­u­ters/Ipsos poll re­leased Monday.

In the poll con­duc­ted last week, 41 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans ex­pressed sup­port for the health care law, down 3 points from the same poll taken at the end of Septem­ber. Fifty-nine per­cent op­posed the law, up 3 points from 56 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous poll.

The res­ults are con­sist­ent with the idea that since the law’s pas­sage in 2010, opin­ions about it have been ex­tremely in­grained.

In a marked dif­fer­ence, a Gal­lup Poll re­leased Monday shows that more broadly, pub­lic opin­ion re­gard­ing the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment’s re­spons­ib­il­ity to en­sure health cov­er­age for Amer­ic­ans has changed dra­mat­ic­ally.

Where­as opin­ion pre­vi­ously firmly and con­sist­ently sup­por­ted the view that it is the gov­ern­ment’s re­spons­ib­il­ity to make sure all Amer­ic­ans have health cov­er­age, at­ti­tudes began to shift in 2007, and ul­ti­mately flipped around 2009.

The re­cent poll shows that in 2013, a re­cord high of 56 per­cent of adults say it is not the gov­ern­ment’ re­spons­ib­il­ity to en­sure cov­er­age, while 42 per­cent be­lieve it is.

This is a sig­ni­fic­ant change from 2006, when those say­ing it is the gov­ern­ment’s re­spons­ib­il­ity peaked at 69 per­cent, and those say­ing it is not was at a low of 28 per­cent.

All three groups have shif­ted away from the idea that health care is the re­spons­ib­il­ity of gov­ern­ment, but the change has been most sig­ni­fic­ant among Re­pub­lic­ans and in­de­pend­ents. 

It re­mains to be seen how both opin­ions will change as the Af­ford­able Care Act con­tin­ues to be im­ple­men­ted. 

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