Kaiser poll: A nation divided on health reform

Among likely voters this November, 46 percent hold favorable views of health reform, while 45 percent view the bill unfavorably, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s health tracking poll for September.

Overall, this month’s poll saw favorable views of the bill rise to 49 percent, up from 43 percent in August, while unfavorable opinions of the new law dropped to 40 percent from 45 percent. This reflects ongoing fluctuation in attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) in the Kaiser poll.

The split in opinion largely reflects the partisan divide, with 75 percent of Democrats having a positive view of the law and 73 percent of Republicans having an unfavorable one. Self-described independents were divided, 42 percent favorable verses 45 percent unfavorable. More independents with negative views of the law characterized their position as very unfavorable (28 percent) compared with only 14 percent who said their opinion of the law was very favorable.

Overall, 25 percent of those polled said they held highly unfavorable views of the law compared with 19 percent who said their views were very favorable.

The phone survey of a random sample of 1,200 adults (798 on landlines and 402 on cell phones) was conducted Sept. 14 to Sept 19, 2010. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points. Details on the Kaiser Poll can be found here, including PDFs of the findings, a chart pack, and the top lines.

Another recent poll by the Associated Press found that while many people disapproved of the new health reform law, those who felt it didn’t go far enough outnumbered by two-to-one those who said government should stay out of health care.

In Check Up Friday, guest blogger Robert Field examined the lessons from Massachusetts for health reform, Call it Romneycare and Field's discussion of the impact of Obamacare on all of us.

To check out more Check Up items go to www.philly.com/checkup.

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