Filed Under:Health Insurance, Individual Health

PPACA: The Court of Public Opinion

Pollsters wonder how reactions to the PPACA decision will affect the fall elections. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Pollsters wonder how reactions to the PPACA decision will affect the fall elections. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Polling firms are coming up with conflicting assessments of how the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) might affect the fall elections.

Analysts at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., says opinion seems to be divided along party lines, with poll participants who identify themselves as pure independents -- independents who not lean either toward the Democrats or toward the Republicans -- equally likely to say they approve of the ruling or disapprove of the ruling.

Gallup Inc., Princeton, N.J., finds that U.S. adults are split down the middle when it comes to their reaction to the PPACA ruling, but that the independents it polled June 28 were slightly more likely to agree with the Supreme Court ruling than to disagree.

StrategyOne Inc., Washington, a consulting firm, says it found that independents are more likely to oppose the ruling than to support it, and that the independents who oppose the ruling feel more strongly about the matter than the independents who support the ruling do.

Kaiser

The Kaiser analysts conducted a random-digit dial telephone poll of 1,239 adults ages 18 and older, including adults who living in Alaska and Hawaii.

Kaiser polled participants June 28 through June 30.

About 59% of the participants said they knew the Supreme Court had upheld PPACA; 18% knew that a decision had been released but were not sure which way the court had ruled.

When told of what the court had ruled, 47% of all participants said they approved of the court's decision, and 43% said they disapproved.

About 79% of the Democrats, 44% of the independents and 12% of the Republicans said they approved of the ruling.

Kaiser found a similar mix of views when it asked whether "independents" leaned toward one party or the other. About 16% of the independents who lean toward the Republicans, 39% of the independents who lean toward neither party, and 74% of the independents who lean toward the Democrats said they approved of the PPACA ruling.

The Democrats Kaiser polled were about as likely to say express enthusiasm about the ruling as the Republicans were to express anger.

The percentage of participants who said they had a favorable view of PPACA increased to 41%, from 37% in May, and the percentage who said they had an unfavorable view of the law fell to 41%, from 44%. 

The percentage of Republicans who said they had a "very unfavorable" opinion of PPACA fell to 64%, from 69% in May, and the percentage of Democrats who said they had a "very favorable" opinion of the law jumped to 47%, from 31%.

Although only 12% of Republicans said they approve of the Supreme Court ruling and 64% still have a very unfavorable opinion of PPACA, 26% of Republicans agreed with the statement that PPACA opponents should "stop their efforts to block the law and move on to other national problems."

About 69% of Republicans and 69% of independents who lean toward the Republicans would like to see PPACA opponents continue to fight the law.

About 38% of all poll participants, 35% of the independents who don't lean toward a major party and 16% of the independents who lean toward the Democrats want to see the PPACA opponents keep up the fight, Kaiser says.

Gallup

Gallup conducted a telephone interview of 1,012 adults ages 18 and older June 28 for USA Today. The poll participants live in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

After the survey workers told poll participants that the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of PPACA, 46% of the poll participants said they agreed with the ruling and 46% said they disagreed.

About 79% of the Democrats, 45% of the independents and 13% of the Republicans said they agreed with the ruling.

About 31% of the participants said they would like to see Congress repeal PPACA, 21% would like to see Congress repeal some parts of PPACA, and 25% said they would like to see Congress pass a law that would further expand the government's role in health care.

About 40% of the independents said they want to keep PPACA as is or expand government's role in health care; 49% of the independents said they want Congress to repeal part or all of PPACA.

About 60% of the independents said health reform is just one of many issues they will consider when they are evaluating candidates for office, and 12% said they do not consider health reform to be a major issue. Only 18% said the candidate they vote for must share their views on health reform.

About 12% of the participants said they would vote only for candidates who oppose the Supreme Court's PPACA ruling.

StrategyOne

StrategyOne conducted a survey telephone survey of 1,022 adults living in the continental United States.

The consulting firm found that 48% of the participants in the sample said they agreed with the ruling and 41% said they disagreed with the ruling.

About 46% of the independents in the sample said they disagreed with the ruling, and 35% of the independents said they agreed with the ruling.

The independents who opposed the ruling were more likely to strongly disagree with the ruling than the opponents who supported the ruling were to strongly agree with the ruling.

About 49% of the Romney supporters in the sample said the PPACA ruling will be more likely to make them vote in the fall; only 38% of the Barack Obama supporters said the ruling will be more likely to make them vote.

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