Poll Finds Opposition to Health Care Reform Law Has Declined in July
Public support for the new health reform law remained steady in July at 50%, while the percentage of U.S. residents who view the legislation unfavorably dropped by six percentage points, to 35%, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.
The findings -- based on a survey of 1,504 U.S. adults conducted between July 8 and July 13 -- revealed that the rate of U.S. residents who hold a favorable view of the law is up slightly, from 48% in June, marking the highest level of approval the overhaul has garnered since it became law in March.
GOP opposition remained stable at 69%, according to the survey. However, 53% of Republicans said they had a "very unfavorable" view of the legislation, up from 50% last month. Meanwhile, 48% of independents said they favored the law -- down slightly from 49% in June -- while 37% viewed it unfavorably, down from 41% the month prior.
U.S. residents remained split evenly over whether the overhaul would leave their families better off, worse off or unchanged (Hilzenrath, Washington Post, 7/29).
Seniors View Overhaul More Negatively
The poll found that U.S. residents ages 65 and older tended to view the law more negatively than adults overall, Kaiser Health News reports (Verdon, Kaiser Health News, 7/29).
About 48% of seniors said they would be worse off under the overhaul, while 25% said they would be better off, according to the survey.
Seniors also were more likely to believe misconceptions about the overhaul, including that the law would create so-called death panels, CQ HealthBeat reports (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 7/29).
Thirty-six percent of seniors believed that the legislation "allowed a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare," and 17% said they "didn't know" whether such a panel would make those decisions (Washington Post, 7/29).
Furthermore, half of seniors incorrectly believed the law would cut Medicare benefits previously available to all beneficiaries, and about half also erroneously believed the overhaul would reduce Medicare payments to physicians.
In addition, many seniors were unaware of many benefits available to them through the new reform law, the survey found.
For example, only 33% of seniors knew that the overhaul eliminated copayments and deductibles for many preventive services, and about 50% knew that it included a provision to help offset the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage (CQ HealthBeat, 7/29).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.