PPACA: The court of public opinion
By National Underwriter
By Allison Bell
Polling firms are coming up with conflicting assessments of how the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) might affect the fall elections.
Analysts at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., says opinion seems to be divided along party lines, with poll participants who identify themselves as pure independents -- independents who not lean either toward the Democrats or toward the Republicans -- equally likely to say they approve of the ruling or disapprove of the ruling.
Gallup Inc., Princeton, N.J., finds that U.S. adults are split down the middle when it comes to their reaction to the PPACA ruling, but that the independents it polled June 28 were slightly more likely to agree with the Supreme Court ruling than to disagree.
StrategyOne Inc., Washington, a consulting firm, says it found that independents are more likely to oppose the ruling than to support it, and that the independents who oppose the ruling feel more strongly about the matter than the independents who support the ruling do.
The Kaiser analysts conducted a random-digit dial telephone poll of 1,239 adults ages 18 and older, including adults who living in Alaska and Hawaii.
Kaiser polled participants June 28 through June 30.
About 59 percent of the participants said they knew the Supreme Court had upheld PPACA; 18 percent knew that a decision had been released but were not sure which way the court had ruled.
When told of what the court had ruled, 47 percent of all participants said they approved of the court's decision, and 43 percent said they disapproved.
About 79 percent of the Democrats, 44 percent of the independents and 12 percent of the Republicans said they approved of the ruling.
Kaiser found a similar mix of views when it asked whether "independents" leaned toward one party or the other. About 16 percent of the independents who lean toward the Republicans, 39 percent of the independents who lean toward neither party, and 74 percent of the independents who lean toward the Democrats said they approved of the PPACA ruling. The Democrats Kaiser polled were about as likely to say express enthusiasm about the ruling as the Republicans were to express anger.
The percentage of participants who said they had a favorable view of PPACA increased to 41 percent, from 37 percent in May, and the percentage who said they had an unfavorable view of the law fell to 41 percent, from 44 percent.
The percentage of Republicans who said they had a "very unfavorable" opinion of PPACA fell to 64 percent, from 69 percent in May, and the percentage of Democrats who said they had a "very favorable" opinion of the law jumped to 47 percent, from 31 percent.
Although only 12 percent of Republicans said they approve of the Supreme Court ruling and 64 percent still have a very unfavorable opinion of PPACA, 26 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement that PPACA opponents should "stop their efforts to block the law and move on to other national problems."
About 69 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of independents who lean toward the Republicans would like to see PPACA opponents continue to fight the law.
About 38 percent of all poll participants, 35 percent of the independents who don't lean toward a major party and 16 percent of the independents who lean toward the Democrats want to see the PPACA opponents keep up the fight, Kaiser says.
Gallup conducted a telephone interview of 1,012 adults ages 18 and older June 28 for USA Today. The poll participants live in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
After the survey workers told poll participants that the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of PPACA, 46 percent of the poll participants said they agreed with the ruling and 46 percent said they disagreed.
About 79 percent of the Democrats, 45 percent of the independents and 13 percent of the Republicans said they agreed with the ruling.
About 31 percent of the participants said they would like to see Congress repeal PPACA, 21 percent would like to see Congress repeal some parts of PPACA, and 25 percent said they would like to see Congress pass a law that would further expand the government's role in health care.
About 40 percent of the independents said they want to keep PPACA as is or expand government's role in health care; 49 percent of the independents said they want Congress to repeal part or all of PPACA.
About 60 percent of the independents said health reform is just one of many issues they will consider when they are evaluating candidates for office, and 12 percent said they do not consider health reform to be a major issue. Only 18 percent said the candidate they vote for must share their views on health reform.
About 12 percent of the participants said they would vote only for candidates who oppose the Supreme Court's PPACA ruling.
StrategyOne conducted a survey telephone survey of 1,022 adults living in the continental United States.
The consulting firm found that 48 percent of the participants in the sample said they agreed with the ruling and 41 percent said they disagreed with the ruling.
About 46 percent of the independents in the sample said they disagreed with the ruling, and 35 percent of the independents said they agreed with the ruling.
The independents who opposed the ruling were more likely to strongly disagree with the ruling than the opponents who supported the ruling were to strongly agree with the ruling.
About 49 percent of the Romney supporters in the sample said the PPACA ruling will be more likely to make them vote in the fall; only 38 percent of the Barack Obama supporters said the ruling will be more likely to make them vote.
Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com