32 Percent Favorable of New Health Care Law; 50 Percent Unfavorable


A recent national Reason-Rupe poll finds 32 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the new health care law passed by Congress in 2010, compared to 50 percent with an unfavorable view of it. The law once enjoyed majority support back in July 2010 with 50 percent favorable and 35 percent unfavorable, according to the Kaiser Foundation Health Tracking poll.

When asked whether Congress should repeal the health care law, or let it stand, 36 percent want to let the law stand, 49 percent say Congress should repeal it. Essentially favorability toward the law maps on to whether individuals want Congress to repeal it or let it stand.


Democrats are highly favorable of the new health care law with 57 percent favorable, and Republicans highly unfavorable with 81 percent. Independents, or self identified independents who do not lean toward either party, were split with nearly half unfavorable and 27 percent favorable. A clear majority (61 percent) of Democrats believe Congress should let the new health care law stand, but a majority of independents and Republicans said Congress should repeal the law.

Interestingly, half of Americans say they know very little—to not much about the new law. Only 9 percent say they know a great deal, yet this is understandable given the length and breadth of the legislation. 39 percent say they know a moderate amount about the law.

Those most opposed to the law are among those who say they know the most about it. 70 percent among those who say they know a "great deal" about the law have an unfavorable opinion, compared to the 33 percent with a favorable opinion of it. Even among those who say they know a "moderate amount" about the law, 53 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the law compared to 41% with a favorable opinion of it.


Note: "Pure Independents" indicates self-identified independents who do not lean toward either Republicans or Democrats.

Full poll results found here.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 10th-20th of both mobile and landline phones, 1200 adults, margin of error +/- 3 percent. Columns may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here

Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @emilyekins.