Democratic support for reform drops

By National Underwriter

National Underwriter

By Kathryn Mayer

More Americans hold an unfavorable view of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Democrats are among the opponents of the law, according to a new poll.

Less than a year before the PPACA takes full effect, Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest tracking survey finds that opponents of the law outnumber supporters (42 to 36 percent). Kaiser says the seven percentage point drop in favorability is “driven primarily by a post‐election fade in support among Democrats.”

Democratic support has taken a big dip, dropping 15 points since November. The share of Democrats backing the law dropped from 72 percent in November to 57 percent.

“Democrats’ support for the law, like the public’s overall, wobbles up and down within a relatively narrow band month by month, and it’s difficult to say whether this downward drop will last,” Kaiser researchers note in their report.

At the same time, the proportion of Americans with no opinion on the law ticked up to nearly a quarter (23 percent), a new high in Kaiser polling. Public support for the law historically has moved up and down within a relatively narrow band, researchers say.

Most Americans (45 percent) say they have based their impression of the law mainly on what they’ve seen in the media, while 22 percent say their own experience has been the primary driver of opinion and 14 percent say their views are primarily based on what they’ve learned from friends and family.

Kaiser’s poll, released Wednesday, is the first since November that has gauged Americans’ feelings on reform. Obama’s re-election ensured the survival of his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the main provisions of the law, including the individual mandate and state exchanges go into effect in 2014.

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