Growing Public Support For Health Care Reform Law

Hospital Hallway - photo by Mike

Public support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is growing slowly but is still largely divided along party lines.

The poll, conducted earlier this month, found that support for the  legislation clearly breaks down along party lines. Almost two-thirds of  Republicans (63 percent) said they wanted the Patient Protection and  Affordable Care Act repealed, compared to 9 percent of Democrats.

When people are asked whether they approve or disapprove of single components of the law, support is generally higher than it is for the entire law. This has been the trend since the law has passed.

Support for certain components of the law seems to be increasing  slowly with time. For instance, 71 percent of those polled now back the  law’s provision that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to  those already sick. At the end of 2010, 64 percent supported this  provision.

Other provisions that are showing a slow but steady rise in acceptance  since November 2010 include:

  • allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they  turn 26 — 57 percent in January 2012 versus 55 percent in November  2010.
  • creating insurance exchanges where people can shop for insurance — 59  percent versus 51 percent.
  • providing tax credits to small businesses to help pay for their  employees’ insurance — 70 percent versus 60 percent.

(follow link to the full Yahoo article)

Not surprising is the general lack of support for the individual mandate with only 19% approval. Apparently people don’t like being told via government mandate to do something. Who knew? Of course the individual mandate is a key part of how the health care law can bring down cost per person. The more people insured the cheaper it is to insure each person. The law doesn’t necessarily fail without the individual mandate but it would be a major blow to the potential cost savings.

My opinion on the popularity of the individual mandate is that people want to get something for nothing. They want access to health care and they want it to be more affordable yet they aren’t willing to accept the reality of what it will take to make that happen. I’m sure if a poll is conducted asking for approval or disapproval of income taxes it would probably not poll high as well but that doesn’t mean that income taxes aren’t necessary and don’t serve an important role in making our society work. Based on the individual mandate, the fee one would pay if they chose not to buy insurance is simply tax on income. The government isn’t forcing anyone to buy insurance, but it is offering an incentive to do so.


photo by Mike via Flickr

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