The Scoop

May 12, 2010

Public Opinion

What Americans Really Think about ObamaCare

In the months following the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) on March 23, 2010, Americans have expressed strong opinions about the new health care law. Heritage has compiled the latest polls and will update this section regularly to give you an accurate snapshot of how Americans view the massive health reform overhaul.

Here are the latest polls regarding Obamacare:

January 2011

– Most voters continue to favor repeal of Obamacare, but confidence that the law ultimately will be repealed has fallen to its lowest level in four months. Some 58% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, while 38% oppose repeal Support for repeal has ranged from 50% to 63% in weekly tracking since Democrats in Congress passed the law in March of last year. (Rasmussen Reports, January 31, 2011)

– Approximately half of workers (50%) with private insurance said they expected their health care costs to go up as a result of Obamacare while 19% expect costs to stay the same and 7% percent expect costs to decrease. About 24% of workers were unable to determine what the personal impact would be. Additionally, three out of 10 adults (31%) said they expect their health coverage to decline as a result of the new health reform law while 34% expect their benefits to stay the same. (Employee Benefit Research Institute, January 25, 2011)

– Just before the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on repealing Obamacare, a new poll finds that half of Americans prefer repealing the new health reform law over keeping it in place. According to the poll, when asked if they would rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions or keep them in place, 50 percent of all Americans favor repeal – even though only one in six dislike everything in the bill. Four in ten oppose such a move. (CNN/Opinion Research Corp., January 18, 2011)

– Some 75% of likely U.S. voters want to change the new health reform law, while only 18% want it left alone.  Those figures include 20% who want the law repealed and nothing done to replace it, 28% who want it repealed and then have its most popular provisions put into a new law and 27% who say leave the law in place but get rid of the unpopular provisions. (Rasmussen Reports, January 14, 2011)

– Support for repeal of the national health care law remains high, as does belief that the measure may be repealed, with 54% of likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favoring repeal of Obamacare. Approximately 40% are opposed to repeal. Support for repeal was even higher-–at 62%–among those who have discussed the health care law with a doctor, a nurse or other health care professional. (Rasmussen Reports, January 10, 2011)

December 2010

– For the second time this month, 60% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the national health care law, while the number who expect health care costs to increase is at its highest level since August. The poll showed that 49% strongly favor repealing Obamacare while 38% oppose the law’s repeal (including 29% who strongly oppose repeal). (Rasmussen Reports, December 27, 2010)

November 2010

–  Roughly 47% of likely U.S. voters believe that repealing Obamacare is at least somewhat likely while 39% said overturning the health reform law was unlikely (14% were unsure) in a new poll.   (Rasmussen Reports, November 29, 2010)

– Voters continue to favor repealing Obamacare, with most believing the law will be bad for the country overall. Roughly 58% of likely voters said they at least favored repealing the health law, while 37% opposed the idea. Approximately 38% of voters said the new health law will be good for America, while more than half (52%) said it will be bad for the country. (Rasmussen Reports, November 15, 2010)

October 2010

– A majority of Americans continue to favor repealing Obamacare, with the number edging up to 53%, compared with 42% who oppose the idea. Since Congress passed the law in late March, support for repeal has ranged from 53% to a high of 63%. (Rasmussen Reports, October 25, 2010)

– Views on the health reform law have tightened back up in October, with 42% of respondents saying they have favorable views of Obamacare and 44% saying they have unfavorable views (15% did not have an opinion). This continues a pattern of divided resistance and support for Obamacare since the health law passed in March. The October poll also found that 28% said they would support immediate repeal of the law. (Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, October 18, 2010)

– Approximately 57% of voters who support the Tea Party movement view the new health reform law as “very” unfavorably, and another 11% “somewhat” unfavorably. Meanwhile, 57% of voters who do not support Tea Party groups view Obamacare as “very” or “somewhat” favorably.  At the same time, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Tea Party supporters say they feel “angry” about Obamacare, even though 82% say their anger is more directed at Washington rather than the health reform law.  (Kaiser Family Foundation, October 12, 2010)

– Nearly three out of four voters (73%) believe it is at least somewhat likely that the new health care law will cause some companies to drop health insurance coverage for their employees, including 47% who say it is “very likely.” Just 19% of likely U.S. voters finds that to be unlikely. (Rasmussen Reports, October 12, 2010)

– A majority of women voters (56%) see Obamacare as a failure, while 29% view it as successful (The Kitchen Cabinet per Politico, October 12, 2010).

– A majority of voters in key battleground districts favor repealing the health reform law passed this year. According to news reports, 56% of Republican voters in surveyed districts said they wanted Obamacare repealed. Democrat respondents were opposed to repeal (23% to 64%) but undecided voters were open to the idea (49% favoring reform to 27% not wanting repeal measures). (The Hill/ANGA, October 5, 2010)

– Support for repealing Obamacare dropped to 50% of likely U.S. voters, the lowest level since the health reform law passed in March. Opposition to repealing the law edged up to 41%. (Rasmussen Reports, October 4, 2010)

September 2010

– The Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly tracking poll finds 49% of Americans have a favorable view of Obamacare while 40% have an unfavorable opinion. At the same time, nearly half (47%) of seniors in the poll believe it will be harder for them to receive health care services they need under the new law, a considerably more pessimistic view than those held by non-seniors. (Kaiser Family Foundation, September 27, 2010)

– Some 54% of likely U.S. voters have an unfavorable view about Obamacare, compared with 42% that held a favorable view. Another 4% were unsure about the new health reform law. (Politico/George Washington University, September 27, 2010)

– Approximately 57% of likely U.S. voters now favor repealing Obamacare compared with 35% who want to keep the new health care law. Since Congress’ passage of the bill in late March, however, a majority of voters have consistently favored repeal of the new law, with support ranging from a low of 53% to a high of 63%. (Rasmussen Reports, September 27, 2010)

– The majority of Americans (54%) oppose Obamacare, based on their current knowledge of the law, while 42% support it. Another 5% were unsure, according to a new poll that surveyed 800 likely voters this month. Half of respondents expect their insurance coverage to change while 41% believe it will remain unchanged. (American Action Forum, September 23, 2010)

– More than half of Americans (52%) believe that the health care overhaul will raise taxes for most people this year, while 36% expect no change and 6% see little change in their taxes. Four out of 10 Americans oppose Obamacare while three out of 10 (30%) support it. Another 30% were neutral. (Associated Press, September 22, 2010)

– Support for some kind of repeal for Obamacare shot up to 61% this week, with only 33% of U.S. voters opposing the idea. Additionally, only 33% say the health care law will be good for the country, while 56% say it will be bad. (Rasmussen Reports, September 20, 2010)

– Americans aren’t confident that Obamacare will mean smaller medical bills. Roughly 45% expect to spend more for health care a year from now while just 8% say the amount they spend on health care services will decrease in a year’s time. Meanwhile, 40% expect costs to remain about the same. (Rasmussen Reports, September 14, 2010)

– Roughly 38% of Americans approve of passing Obamacare while 47% disapprove of the new law, remaining relatively steady from a similar poll in July. (PEW Research Center/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, September 13, 2010)

– Support for repealing Obamacare fell this week with only 53% of likely U.S. voters pushing for repeal. This is the lowest level since the health care law passed in March. Meanwhile, opposition to the repeal idea held steady at 38%. (Rasmussen Reports, September 13, 2010)

– While support for repealing Obamacare remained relatively unchanged, a plurality of likely U.S. voters thinks repeal is unlikely. In the latest poll, 56% of participants favored repealing the new health care law, compared with 38% who oppose the idea. But only 39% of voters say it is at least somewhat likely that the health care law will be repealed, with 49% believing it will be unlikely. (Rasmussen Reports, September 6, 2010)

August 2010

– Support for the new health care law fell during the month, dropping from a 50% favorable rate in July to a 43% rate in August. Meanwhile, 45% of Americans had an unfavorable view of Obamacare. Additionally, 30% of Americans say they and their family will be worse off under the law, while 29% said they will be better off–an additional 36% said Obamacare wouldn’t make much difference. (Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, August 31, 2010).

– More than half of U.S. voters (54%) continue to believe that the new health care law will increase the cost of care and 58 percent favor repealing Obamacare. About 36% are opposed to the repeal idea. A majority has favored repealing the reform legislation since it became law in March. (Rasmussen Reports, August 30, 2010)

– Some 56% of American voters continue to favor repealing Obamacare, while 40% oppose repealing the massive health reform law. Support for repeal has ranged from 52% to 63% since the health reform law was passed by Congress in March. (Rasmussen Reports, August 23, 2010)

– Roughly 83% of respondents said health care was “extremely” or “very” important in determining their vote for Congress in the upcoming elections. Only five other issues — the economy, unemployment, the deficit, terrorism and government ethics — were deemed more important. (CNN Poll, August 16, 2010)

– Some 60% of likely Americans voters at least somewhat favor repealing the new health reform law while 36% are opposed to undoing ObamaCare. Additionally, 50% of voters say repealing ObamaCare would be good for the economy, the highest result since the question was first asked in April. (Rasmussen Reports, August 16, 2010)

– Opposition against ObamaCare dipped slightly but held this week at a majority (55%) of U.S. voters who want to repeal the health care reform law. Approximately 38% of voters are against repealing the bill, which has shown little change over the past month. Additionally, 60% believe health care costs will go up under ObamaCare, with just 16% expecting costs to go down and another 16% expecting no change. (Rasmussen Reports, August 9, 2010)

– Fifty-four percent (54%) of U.S. voters oppose the individual mandate within ObamaCare. The new poll, which comes as a majority of Missourians voted to oppose the new federal health reform provision, shows that 43% favor the requirement that every American buy or have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. (Rasmussen Reports, August 5, 2010)  

– A majority of likely U.S. voters (57%) says the recently passed health care law will be bad for the country, while 43% say ObamaCare will be good for the United States. That’s the highest level of pessimism measured since regular tracking began following Congress’ passage of the law in late March.  Prior to this survey, belief that the plan is good for the country ranged from 34% to 41%, while those who predict it will be bad for the country range from 49% to 54%. (Rasmussen Reports, August 2, 2010)

 July 2010

– Overall public support for health reform is steady from a month ago, while unfavorable views have slumped some. Approximately 50% of respondents have favorable views of ObamaCare while 35% don’t like it. Participants who are seniors are more negative toward ObamaCare than their younger counterparts. Some 46% of seniors don’t like the new health reform law while 38% have a favorable view. (Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, July 29, 2010)

– Most American voters (58%) continue to favor repeal of ObamaCare, but nearly half of them (48%) say repeal is unlikely. Support for repeal is up 2% from a week earlier, but consistent in findings from the past month, with support for repeal ranging from 52% to 63%. Thirty-seven percent of voters oppose repealing the new health reform law. (Rasmussen Reports, July 26, 2010

– A majority of voters nationwide (61%) expect health care costs to go up with the implementation of ObamaCare. Only 17% expect health care costs to decrease, while another 17% expect costs would stay the same. Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters now favor repeal of the law, while 38% oppose repeal. Support for repeal has ranged from 52% to 63% since passage of the health care reform law in March. (Rasmussen Reports, July 19, 2010)

– Americans continue to be more likely to disapprove than approve of ObamaCare. Some 49% of Americans now disapprove of the health care reform measure, while 36% support the law. In a May, 47 percent disapproved of the new laws, while 43 percent approved. (CBS News Poll, July 13, 2010)

– Almost four months after the passage of ObamaCare, the law remains unpopular with the public. Nearly half of Americans (47%) disapprove of the health care law while just 35% approve of the measure. An overwhelming proportion of opponents of health care legislation -– 37% of the public overall -– favor repealing the legislation as soon as possible. Just 7% say they want to let the law stand and see how it works. (The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, July 12, 2010)

– Support for repealing ObamaCare slipped to 53% of likely voters in a recurring poll, with opposition to repealing the health care law leading up to 42%. This is the second lowest level of support for repeal in 17 weeks of surveying since the health care bill was passed by Congress. It marks what appears to be a continuing downward trend in support for repeal since June. (Rasmussen Reports, July 12, 2010

A new poll of independents found that those who favored repealing ObamaCare had a margin of 52 percent to 39 percent opposed to the idea. This is compared with a 77 percent to 21 percent margin among Republicans. Democrats oppose repealing the health care law by a margin of 61 percent to 33 percent. (Resurgent Republic, July 7, 2010)

– Some 60% of voters nationwide favor repealing the recently passed health care law, including 49% who strongly favor repeal. Roughly 36% oppose repeal, which includes 24% who are strongly opposed to rejecting ObamaCare. Meanwhile, 43% believe repeal would be good for the nation’s economy, as 27% think it would be bad for the economy (20% say it would have no impact on the economy).  (Rasmussen Reports, July 5, 2010)

June 2010

– Americans are still divided on the health reform law, with favorable views increasing slightly to 48% of those surveyed. Some 41% of respondents have a “generally unfavorable” view, and 10% are unsure. Roughly a third (35%) of registered voters who were polled said a candidate who voted for ObamaCare would be more likely to get their vote, as opposed to 32% who won’t support those who passed the law. Another third (31%) said the ObamaCare vote would not impact their election decisions. (Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, June 30, 2010)

– Most voters still favor repeal of the national health care bill, but support for repeal has fallen to its lowest level since the bill passed in March. Voters remain skeptical about the impact of the plan on the deficit and on the quality and cost of health care. Approximately 52 percent of voters favor repealing ObamaCare while 40 percent oppose it. (Rasmussen Reports, June 28, 2010)

– If a company drops its insurance coverage and shifts its workers to a government-sponsored health insurance option, 48% of voters nationwide say that would be bad for the employees. Just 28% believe it would be good for employees to go from a private insurance plan to a government plan. Among voters who currently have health insurance, 50% say it would be bad if they were forced on to a government plan. Those without health insurance are closely divided on the question. (Rasmussen Reports, June 24, 2010)

– The health reform law has not gained much traction since its passage three months ago.  Gallup found that 49% of Americans say the passage was a good thing, compared with 46% who called it a bad thing. That’s slightly up from two prior polls in which the slight plurality called ObamaCare a bad thing. (Gallup, June 22, 2010)

– Voters overwhelmingly like the health insurance coverage they have, and 44% think the new national health care bill is likely to make them change that coverage. Forty-five percent (45%) don’t believe that’s likely. These numbers include 25% who say it’s “very likely” they will have to switch health insurance coverage and 19% who say it’s “not at all likely.” (Rasmussen Reports, June 21, 2010)

– For a second consecutive week, 58% of likely U.S. voters favored repealing ObamaCare, compared with 36% who opposed repeal. Sentiments about repeal since the health care overhaul’s passage have been strong, with 47% strongly favoring repeal and 27% strongly opposing it. (Rasmussen Reports, June 14, 2010)

– A new poll of 650 registered voters showed 49 percent of Americans oppose ObamaCare compared with 43 percent who supported the health reform law (8 percent had no opinion). (Public Policy Polling, June 9, 2010)

– A national telephone survey finds that 58% now favor repealing ObamaCare, while 35% are opposed to repeal. Overall support for repeal is down two points from a week ago, but still higher than during the immediate aftermath of the Congressional debate. (Rasmussen Reports, June 7, 2010)

– Americans are more evenly divided over whether the health care bill will be good or bad for the country. About 51% of people questioned in the survey say the bill will hurt the U.S., with 46% saying it will help. Supporters celebrate the enactment of ObamaCare, but critics insist it will do little to slow spiraling costs and say businesses will be burdened by a slew of new regulations and taxes. (CNN/Opinion Research, June 2, 2010)

– Some 42% of Americans said that given the option to name the sections of the health reform law they would most like the GOP to repeal, they would instead prefer to leave the new law alone and not repeal any parts. But one section 30% of voters would like to see eliminated from ObamaCare is the individual mandate, or requirement that all Americans buy health insurance or face tax penalties. (60 Minutes/Vanity Fair, June 2, 2010)

May 2010

– Roughly 60% of U.S. voters now want to see the national health care bill repealed. That number is down from previous weeks but the second straight week in which support for appeal is at 60% or above. Currently, just 36% oppose repealing ObamaCare. Additionally, 62% believe the law will increase the federal budget deficit, and 58% think it will raise the cost of care. (Rasmussen Reports, May 31, 2010)

– Despite some public opinion shift, more Americans (47%) still disapprove of President Obama’s health care reform law compared with 43% who support the measures. Disapproval eased from a more recent CBS News poll, when 53% of the public opposed ObamaCare and 32% approved. (CBS News Poll, May 25, 2010)

– Employers have little hope that ObamaCare will help them achieve their top goals to decrease health care costs and improve work force health, with just 14% of top executives saying health reform will contain health care costs and 25% saying it will encourage healthier lifestyles. (Tower Watson, May 2010)

Support for repeal of the new national health care plan has jumped to its highest level ever, with 63% of U.S. voters now favoring repeal. Prior to the new poll, weekly polling had shown support for repeal ranging from 54% to 58%. Currently, just 32% oppose repeal. The new findings include 46% who “Strongly Favor” repeal of the health care bill and 25% who “Strongly Oppose” it. (Rasmussen Reports, May 24, 2010)

Confusion over the new health reform law declined but remains widespread, with 44% of the public saying they were confused in May, compared to 55% in April. Moreover, more than a third of Americans (35%) say they do not understand what the impact of the law will be on themselves and their families, while 61 percent report feeling they do understand what that impact will be. Additionally, Americans remain divided on health reform, with 41 percent holding favorable views of the law, 44 percent holding unfavorable views and 14 percent undecided or unsure. Most Democrats still approve of it and most Republicans still oppose it. (Kaiser Family Foundation, May 21, 2010)

– Support for repeal is unchanged for ObamaCare, which is proving to be just as consistent as opposition to the health care plan before it was passed into law. In polls conducted every week since the law was passed in March, support for repeal has stayed in a very narrow range from a low of 54% to a high of 58%. (Rasmussen Reports, May 2010)

– Despite White House predictions that passage of ObamaCare would boost Democrats in November, the issue still appeared to be more of a drag on the president’s party. Some 44% of surveyed voters called the health plan a bad idea, compared with 38% who saw it as a good idea. (Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, May 2010

– Approximately 63% of likely U.S. voters believe ObamaCare will increase the federal deficit. Only 12% expect the law to reduce the deficit while 16 percent say no change is likely. (Rasmussen Reports, May 2010)

April 2010

– Eight in 10 Americans know the health care law was enacted into law, but 55% say they are confused about the law — more than half (56%) say they don’t have enough information to understand how it will affect them personally. (Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2010)

– Likely voters remain closely split over whether they support or oppose the health care reform act passed by Congress, with 51% opposed and 44% in support. When given a number of possible reasons for being against the bill, the top choice of those opposed was that it would give the government too much control over their health care decisions. (Zogby Interactive, April 2010)

– More Americans have an opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the passage of health care reform, with 36% viewing her favorably and 54% unfavorably (Gallup, April 2010)

March 2010

–  One week after the passage of ObamaCare, Americans remained worried about the bill’s effect on costs. A majority of Americans say health care costs in the U.S. and the federal budget deficit will get worse as a result of the bill. Half of Americans believe that health care costs for themselves and their families will get worse. (Gallup, March 2010)

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