Tracking Poll Finds Health Reform Law Gaining In Popularity
The Washington Post: "The health-care overhaul gained popularity from May to June, according to a new tracking poll." The poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation "found that 48 percent of the public had a favorable view of the law in June while 41 percent had an unfavorable opinion." (Kaiser Health News is a program of the foundation.) In May, the tracking poll had found "41 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable."
These new results "were not much different from those in March, shortly before the law was enacted. ... The administration has been spotlighting potentially crowd-pleasing elements as they are phased in, including a provision that will allow many parents to keep young adult children on their insurance policies until age 26, and another provision that is helping some Medicare beneficiaries narrow a gap in their prescription drug coverage. 'Overall, roughly a third of voters say that a candidate who voted for the health reform law will be more likely to get their vote, a third say less likely, and a third say it doesn't really matter,' said the foundation (Hilzenrath, 6/30).
MarketWatch's The Elections: "Looking deeper into the numbers, of the folks who have an unfavorable view, 25% of them feel 'very unfavorably' about health reform, compared to 20% who have a 'very favorable' view. But back in May, the very unfavorable group measured 32%, more than twice as large as the 14% who had a very favorable opinion of the health-care changes" (McNeil, 6/30).
Washington Post's The Fix: "Broadly, the public is still very conflicted about whether a congressman's vote for the health care bill is a good, bad or indifferent thing. Thirty five percent said a congressman's vote for the bill made them more likely to back that Member in the fall but a near-equal 32 percent said it made them more likely to oppose the candidate. One in three (31 percent) said how a congressman's vote wouldn't make a major difference in who they voted for in November."
The poll also uncovered "a significant intensity gap between Democrats and Republicans on the law" with Republicans "much more likely" than Democrats to oppose someone's re-election bid if that candidate voted for the reforms (Cillizza, 6/30).
Wall Street Journal's Health Blog: "The poll also tracks the popularity of the law's major elements (most of which, it should be noted, haven't yet taken effect). People of all political stripes generally like the notion of health insurance exchanges (87% overall), tax credits to small businesses (82%) and a filling-in of the Medicare doughnut hole (81%). The guarantee of insurance appeals to 69% of people, but the individual mandate to only 34% - even though it's difficult to have the former without the latter" (Hobson, 6/30).
CNN Political Ticker: Other recent national polls, such as those conducted by USA Today/Gallup, AP/GfK, and NBC/Wall Street Journal, also indicated an uptick in support for the new health reform law. Meanwhile, "[t]he Kaiser survey suggests a partisan divide, with nearly seven in 10 Democrats holding a favorable view of health care reform and an equal amount of Republicans saying they have an unfavorable view of the law. Forty-nine percent of independents questioned say they have a favorable view, with 41 percent holding an unfavorable view."
For this poll, 1,066 registered voters were questioned by telephone from June 17-22. The overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points (Steinhauser, 6/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.