Poll Finds Half of U.S. Residents View Health Reform Law Unfavorably
Half of U.S. residents view the federal health reform law unfavorably, but more than six in 10 disapprove of Republicans' efforts to defund the law, according to the latest monthly survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard University School of Public Health, Politico reports (Haberkorn, Politico, 1/25).
The telephone survey of 1,502 adults ages 18 and older was conducted between Jan. 4 and Jan. 14. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points (Kaiser Family Foundation release, 1/25).
The disapproval rating for the overhaul is up by nine percentage points since December 2010 and is at the highest since April 2010, when KFF began analyzing the public's opinion of the reform law.
Although the survey was conducted before the House approved a bill (HR 2) to repeal the health reform law, 62% of respondents said they opposed the idea of defunding the law, compared with 33% who favored the idea, Politico reports. Support for defunding the overhaul largely fell along party lines, with 57% of Republican respondents favoring doing so and 62% of independents against the tactic.
The survey found that respondents overwhelmingly supported several provisions of the law, including those that offer discounted drugs for beneficiaries who reach the "doughnut hole" in prescription drug coverage (85% in support), the long-term care CLASS Act (76%) and the medical-loss ratio rules (66%).
The most unpopular provision still is the individual mandate, with 76% of respondents viewing it unfavorably. However, when told that "insurance companies would still be allowed to deny coverage to people who are sick" without the mandate, 46% of respondents view the provision favorably and 47% continued to view it unfavorably.
The survey also found:
- Respondents who identified themselves as independents were mostly behind the high unfavorable numbers for the reform law; 57% of independents said they were opposed to the overhaul, up from 41% in December 2010;
- Support for law remained unchanged this month at 41%, compared with 43% of respondents who favor a complete repeal; and
- Overall, 47% of respondents want to expand the law (28%) or maintain the overhaul as is (19%).
"The public is frustrated with politics as usual, and may be saying that defunding a law is not how government should work," Mollyann Brodie, a KFF senior vice president and director of its public opinion and survey research group, said (Politico, 1/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.