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16-07-2012 | Article

US Poll: Affordable Care Act opponents – 'move on'


Poll results and interpretation

MedWire News: The majority of US residents say that they want opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to stop trying to block implementation and move on, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

A nationally representative sample of 1239 English and Spanish-speaking residents from all 50 states showed that 56% agreed that "opponents of the law should stop their efforts to block the law and move on to other national problems," whereas 38% said that opponents should continue trying to block the law from being implemented, and 7% said they did not know or refused to answer the question.

Democrats overwhelmingly supported the law (82%), as did independents who identified themselves as "leaning" Democratic (78%). Additionally, 51% of independents with no expressed party preference said that lawmakers should get on with the rest of the nation's business.

By contrast, 69% of both Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they wanted opponents to keep trying to dismantle the healthcare law.

Although Republican hostility to the law continued unabated in the days immediately following the Supreme Court ruling to uphold it, there was a "surge in Democratic enthusiasm for the law," the pollsters say, with the percentage of Democrats who reported having a very favorable opinion of the law climbing from 33% before the ruling was announced, to 47% afterward.

Nearly one-third of Republicans (31%) say that the decision will motivate them to vote, compared with 22% of Democrats.

The pollsters also asked respondents what they thought were the primary motivations for the Justices' decision; a 5:4 split, with the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal Justices, put the law over the top.

In all, 27% said that the judges were motivated by analysis and interpretation of the law, while 19% attributed their actions to national politics, 15% chalked it up to political ideology of individual Justices, and 10% said a primary factor was the party affiliation of the president who nominated the Justices to the high court bench.

By Neil Osterweil