Support slips away for health care reform, poll says

  • Fri Oct 28th, 2011 9:47pm
  • News

Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON — Public support for the new health care law dropped significantly in October, a new survey shows, dealing a blow to the Obama administration as Republican presidential candidates keep up their pledges to repeal the president’s signature domestic legislative achievement.

More than half of Americans now view the law unfavorably, according to a tracking poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

And just 34 percent of Americans view the law favorably, the lowest level of support since the president signed the law in March 2010.

Much of the decline appears to have been driven by faltering support among Democrats, just 52 percent of whom said they view the law favorably, down from 65 percent a month earlier.

Support among independents dropped from 36 percent to 32 percent. And support from Republicans fell from 14 percent to 11 percent.

The decline in satisfaction marks a shift from previous Kaiser tracking polls over the last year, which have generally shown the public nearly evenly split on the sweeping new law.

Supporters of the law had hoped that Americans would cheer indications that the law was beginning to help some people, including seniors who are getting extra help with their prescriptions and young Americans who have been able to stay on their parents’ health plans.

But the Kaiser poll found that Americans are now more than twice as likely to say the law won’t make much difference for them and their families as they are to say the law will leave them better off.

At the same time, Americans continue to express broad disappointment with their leaders, with substantial majorities reporting that the president and Congress are not paying enough attention to pressing issues like the economy, jobs and the national debt.