ACA Opponents Divided on How to Proceed

Half of Americans disapprove of the health reform law, but they are divided over whether elected officials should try to make the law fail or make the law work.

Half of Americans disapprove of the health reform law, but they are divided over how elected officials should proceed, according to a poll.

A Pew Research Center poll of 1,500 adults found that 53% of Americans disapprove of the law. (An earlier Gallup poll reported 49%.) However, this half of the country isn’t sure what the best response is to the law.

Half of disapprovers, or 27% of the overall public, say that lawmakers should make the law work as well as possible. Meanwhile, 23% of the overall public says that officials should make the law fail.

Republicans are incredibly split over what to do with the health care law. Overall, 85% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents disapprove. But it’s not so simple. Tea Party Republicans much more strongly want officials to make the law fail, with 64% saying so compared to just 31% of the rest of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

And while the health exchanges are scheduled to open in just weeks across the country, only 25% say they understand the law’s impact very well and 34% have little or no understanding of how the law will affect them.

Furthermore, even though exchanges will open in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, only half of the public thinks an exchange will be available to people in their state. More people who live in states with state-run programs are aware of the exchanges, though.

Even the law’s target group—the uninsured—have mixed views, just as likely to disapprove (46%) as approve (49%). But even more concerning is that uninsured Americans are less likely to be aware of the requirement to have health insurance, according to Pew. Less than two-thirds (61%) of those without health insurance know that the law requires them to get insurance.