Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

53 Percent of Americans Have Unfavorable View of Federal Health Care Law, Just 15 Percent Have "Very Favorable" View

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The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while 41 percent have a favorable view. Even among those with a favorable opinion of the law, a quarter like the law less now than when it was first passed.

Republicans are more intensely opposed to the federal health care law than Democrats are supportive. More than half of Republicans (59 percent) are very unfavorable toward the law while just 26 percent of Democrats are very favorable toward it. In total, 81 percent of Republicans have a negative view of the law and 63 percent of Democrats have a favorable view. Independents are more likely to agree with Republicans as 59 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the law.

Favorability toward the law increases with education; while 56 percent of those with a high school education or less view the law unfavorably, a majority (54 percent) of those with post-graduate degrees view it favorably.

Several groups expected to be most supportive of the law have turned against it.

Among the 13 percent of Americans currently without insurance—ostensibly the group the law is most intended to help—a majority (58 percent) has a negative view of the law.

Millennials are evenly divided in their view of the law. However, when younger millennials (18-24) are broken out from older millennials (25-34), the older cohort is more negative toward the law (54 to 40 percent) while younger millennials remain split.

Hispanics are also evenly divided in their view of the federal health care law with 48 percent who have an unfavorable opinion and 43 percent with a favorable one. In contrast, 61 percent of white Americans are unfavorable and 69 percent of African-Americans are favorable toward the law.

Unmarried women are evenly divided on the law while majorities of unmarried men and married men and women have a negative view of the law.

Reason-Rupe also asked if Americans like the law more or less than when it was passed. Most Americans (71 percent) report that their views have not changed. However about 1 in 5 say that while they liked the law initially they like it less now. Another way of looking at this is of the 44 percent of Americans who say they initially liked the Affordable Care Act, a little less than half like it less now. Despite the Obama administration's efforts to rally support for the Affordable Care Act, just seven percent of Americans who say they disliked the law when it was passed say they like it more now.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted Dec 4-8 2013 interviewed 1011 adults on both mobile (506) and landline (505) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results, detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here.