Half of Americans Support Obamacare Repeal

A recent Gallup poll found that 47 percent of Americans support the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), compared with the 42 percent who want the law kept in place.  The remaining 11 percent offered no opinion.  In an ironic twist, the survey also determined that half of Americans believe the federal government has a responsibility to make certain that all citizens have healthcare coverage, compared with 46 percent who do not.

“Views on this issue are highly partisan, with Republicans strongly in favor of repeal and the large majority of Democrats wanting the law kept in place,” according to Gallup.

Republicans claim that the healthcare law is unconstitutional because of the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance.  Approximately eight in 10 Republicans think Congress should repeal the healthcare law, including 54 percent who want the entire law thrown out.  Democrats have an opposing view: 60 percent support keeping the healthcare law as is.  Independents are split.

Fully 80 percent of Republicans support repeal, while a mere 10 percent support the law.  Democrats, not surprisingly support the healthcare law by 64 – 21 percent.  The intensity of the issue on both sides is also striking.  Among those who favor repeal of the so-called Obamacare, 66 percent say it is a “very important” issue.  Fully 60 percent of the ACA’s supporters described it is a “very important” issue.

Another finding of the survey is that 56 percent of respondents prefer an insurance system run by private companies; while 39 percent prefer a government-run system.

Writing for CBS News, Jennifer De Pinto says that “Even though overall support for the healthcare law is mixed, majorities have favored some individual elements of the law, including requiring health insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents’ healthcare plan until age 26.  However, the provision that requires all Americans get health insurance is not as popular.  A CNN/ORC Poll conducted this past summer found 54 percent of Americans oppose that provision.”

In a poll taken by the Kaiser Foundation, 34 percent said they view the law either “very” (12 percent) or “somewhat” (22 percent) favorably while 51 percent saw it in either as “somewhat” (20 percent) or “very” (31 percent) unfavorably.  In April 2010, the favorable view of the law was 50 percent only one time (July 2010).  With the exception of the October dip, support has generally been between 39 and 43 percent since the start of this year.  Even as the overall bill remains consistently unpopular, parts of it — including the individual mandate, which would require all Americans to carry health insurance — are viewed more positively.

Even if the Supreme Court overturns the ACA or it is repealed, President Barack Obama said that the healthcare law he signed in 2010 represents “a reform that will finally make sure that nobody goes bankrupt in America just because they get sick.”  Obama said the law assures coverage for people with preexisting medical conditions and is the kind of change he promised during the 2008 presidential campaign.  “Everything we fought for in the last election is now at stake in the next election,” Obama said.  “The very core of what this country stands for is on the line.”

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