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Poll: 40 percent don't know ObamaCare is still law

May 1, 2013
The Hill
Sam Baker

Forty percent of the public does not know that President Obama's healthcare law remains on the books and is being implemented, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The survey is a stark reminder of the daunting task ahead for the White House as it works not only to remind people that the law exists, but to encourage them to enroll in its new coverage options.

Seven percent of those polled thought the law was struck down by the Supreme Court. Twelve percent thought Congress has repealed the law, and another 23 percent didn't know or refused to answer.

Roughly 60 percent correctly understood that the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land and is being implemented.

The Obama administration has promised an aggressive public-relations campaign, mostly this summer, to raise awareness of the healthcare law and encourage people to take advantage of the benefits it offers.

Enrollment will be one of the key metrics by which the law's success or failure is judged, and the vast majority of the law's coverage expansion is set to take effect in January — just months ahead of the 2014 midterms.

The Kaiser tracking poll also found that most of the public is willing to let Republican critics continue trying to chip away at the law — but doesn't support the tactic of defunding the law.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said the law's opponents should "continue trying to change or stop it, so it has less impact on taxpayers, employers and health care providers." Just 33 percent said opponents should accept that the law is here to stay and stop trying to block implementation.

But a majority also said the law's critics should not try to block the law by cutting off the funding needed to implement it.

Fifty-eight percent said they disapprove of defunding the law, while 31 percent approved.

Independents disapproved of defunding, 55 percent to 36 percent.

Overall, public opinion of the healthcare law remains divided and leans slightly negative. In the latest tracking poll, 40 percent said they have an unfavorable view of the law, compared with 35 percent who have a favorable view — roughly in line with past results.

 

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