Kaiser Poll: Early Reaction to Supreme Court Decision on ACA

Following last week’s Supreme Court’s decision upholding the heart of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a majority of Americans (56 percent) now say they would like to see the law’s detractors stop their efforts to block its implementation and move on to other national problems. In the first of two polls to be released this month looking at opinion on the ACA in the wake of the Court’s decision, Democrats overwhelmingly say opponents should move on to other issues (82 percent), as do half (51 percent) of independents. But on the flip side, seven in ten Republicans (69 percent) would like to see efforts to stop the law continue. Solid majorities of voters of every political stripe say the decision won’t impact whether or not they vote this November – though Republicans are more likely than Democrats (31 percent compared to 18 percent) to say the result will motivate them to turn out in November.

The Court did little to change overall views on the ACA, which have been roughly stable since passage. Currently, 41 percent of Americans hold favorable views, 41 percent unfavorable. Still, enthusiasm for the law among Democrats did surge this month: 47 percent are “very favorable” toward the law now compared to 31 percent last month. Even with the jump in enthusiasm, Republicans’ strong opposition to the law continues to outstrip Democratic enthusiasm with 64 percent saying they feel “very unfavorable” about the law.

With policymakers struggling to understand how the Court decision will affect the planned expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, the survey did not attempt to measure the public’s views on this issue.  The poll does find that a large majority see Medicaid as either “very important” (69 percent) or “somewhat important” (23 percent) program, putting it close behind Medicare and Social Security.


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