Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- April 2012
The April poll gauged Americans' opinions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the wake of the Supreme Court oral arguments in the legal challenges to the health reform law in March.
The increased public attention to the Affordable Care Act generated by the Supreme Court's consideration of the law did not meaningfully change the public's opinion of the law overall or of the specific provision at the heart of critics' legal case against it, the requirement that nearly everyone obtain health insurance. Forty-two percent say they have a favorable opinion of the law this month and 43 percent have an unfavorable one, a division virtually unchanged from March. Similarly, the individual mandate is as unpopular as it was in March, but not more so. Seven in ten Americans oppose this provision, including 53 percent of the public who say they hold "very unfavorable" views of it. Overall, half of Americans (51%) believe the court should rule the mandate unconstitutional, identical to March.
The Supreme Court challenge did appear to have an impact on Americans' sense of familiarity with the ACA, however. In April three in four Americans (74%) report they are aware that the individual mandate is part of the health care law, up from 64 percent before the Court heard oral arguments last month. And the proportion who feels they understand how the law will impact them jumped to 51 percent, up 12 percentage points from March. Overall, half the public reported following news about the Court challenge at least fairly closely in April, up from 37 percent last March.
Although most Americans (63%) don’t expect to have to change anything about their health coverage when the mandate takes effect in 2014, nearly three in ten (28%) do believe they will have to make some change to their current insurance arrangements. Among the latter group, three times as many say they will be worse off (20%) as say they will be better off (6%) after making that change.
The proportion of the public expressing a high degree of confidence in the Supreme Court rose from 23 percent to 31 percent in the last month, driven by a big boost among Republicans, who overwhelmingly disapprove of the ACA and perhaps are responding to the tough questioning about the law by some of the justices.
There was a noticeable jump in the proportion of Americans saying that the justices' analysis and interpretation of the law would play the most important role in their decision in the case: 30 percent say so in April, compared to 19 percent who said so last month. This vaulted this factor to the top of the list, above "whether the justices' themselves hold liberal or conservative views," which now ranks second, at 21 percent. Here, too, the change was driven primarily by Republicans.
The April poll is the latest in a series designed and analyzed by the Foundation's public opinion research team.
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Information provided by the Public Opinion and Survey Research Program
Publication Number: 8302
Publish Date: 2012-04-24
I see a 5 to 4 Majority on the Court in relation to this case. I just cannot seem to figure out which way it will be for ACA effort?
Base on their past votes, I fear it will be against ACA or at least the most important part, that all be covered.
I just don't understand how the average person does not see this as positive for them. It boggles my mind.
they actually do. the individual provisions poll decently. as an overall bill, most people don't like it. most provisions poll in the 40% range approve, 20% disapprove.
once again it all comes down to kennedy. thomas, scalia, alito and roberts will all vote against it. kagan, breyer, sotomayor, and ginsburg will vote in favor.
Looks like Americans' growing disappointment with Washington, D.C., has spread to all three branches of government.
A new New York Times/CBS News poll suggests that only 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three in four say the justices are sometimes unable to set their personal or political views aside when making a decision.
As the Times explains, those numbers "are a fresh indication that the court's standing with the public has slipped significantly in the past quarter-century." The high court's approval rating was in the mid-60s in the late 1980s and hovered around 50 percent at the turn of the century.
The survey also found that regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the 2010 health care law, they're bound to further anger a large chunk of the public. Forty-one percent of respondents said they want to see the justices eliminate the entire law, while 24 percent said they want it to remain as is and 27 percent want the justices to overturn only the individual mandate that requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
Americans also expressed dissatisfaction with the judicial system itself. Six out of ten respondents agreed that life tenures for justices are "a bad thing because it gives them too much power."
The congressional approval rating was at 17 percent in April and President Obama's recent approval rating at 47 percent, according to Gallup polling.
You can spin the latest New York Times/CBS poll two ways: You could say a large majority of Americans wants the Supreme Court to overturn all or part of the health-care law, or that a majority wants the Supreme Court to leave all or most of the health-care law intact.
Here are the numbers: 41 percent say the Supreme Court should get rid of the whole thing; 27 percent say just overturn the mandate; 24 percent say keep the law; 8 percent don’t know. So 68 percent say either get rid of all of the law or at least the individual mandate, and 51 percent say keep all of the law or everything but the individual mandate.
Bottom line: If you’re Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts, and you want to rule against the individual mandate but you’re worried about a public backlash, this poll calms your fears.