Majority of Americans Still Favor Repealing Obamacare Law

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 26, 2011   |   1:08PM   |   Washington, DC

At the same time that the Supreme Court announced it would not expedite the lawsuit one state has filed against the abortion-funding Obamacare law, a new national survey shows Americans still support repealing it.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected a request from the state of Virginia, which has filed one of the successful lawsuits that lower courts have agreed should overturn at least part of the abortion-funding health care law.

Meanwhile, a new national poll from Rasmussen Reports shows most voters still favor repeal of the national health care law and believe it will drive up the federal deficit even as President Obama and Congress are stepping up the debate on how to cut the government’s massive debt.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the law passed by Congress in March of last year. Forty percent (40%) are at least somewhat opposed. The new findings include 42% who Strongly Favor repeal and 31% who Strongly Oppose it.

Overall support for repeal is little changed as it has ranged from a low of 50% to a high of 63% in surveys since late March 2010.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of all voters think the health care law will increase the federal deficit. Just 18% say its implementation will decrease the deficit as the law’s supporters claimed during the congressional debate. Seventeen percent (17%) say the law will have no impact on the deficit, while 12% are not sure. Since passage of the bill, the number of voters expecting the law to increase the deficit has ranged from 51% to 63%.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 23-24, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

The poll shows 52 percent of voters now believe the health care plan will be bad for the country, a finding that has ranged from 48% to 57% in over a year of surveying. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the plan will be good for the county, a view shared by 32% to 41% of voters since March 2010. Only four percent (4%) think it will have no impact.

Twenty-three percent (23%) feel the quality of health care in America will get better under the new law. Fifty percent (50%) predict it will get worse, while 19% expect it to stay about the same. Since the law’s passage, 48% to 54% of voters have said the law will worsen the quality of health care.

Most voters (52%) also continue to predict that the cost of health care will go up under the new plan, but this marks the lowest level of pessimism to date. In previous surveys, 54% to 61% have predicted that health care costs will rise because of the law. Only 18%, however, expect costs to go down, and 19% think they will stay about the same.

Republicans continue to offer the most negative assessments of the new law, with voters not affiliated with either major party nearly as critical. Democrats continue to be enthusiastic supporters and are much less likely to expect the law to hurt health care quality and increase costs and the deficit.

A Virginia federal judge ruled the individual mandate portion of the Obamacare law invalid in a lawsuit the state filed against the measure and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, in February, asked the Supreme Court to take an expedited review of the case. The Obama administration responded and asked the high court to stay away from the case until after a federal appeals court has a chance to review the federal judge’s decision and issue its own opinion on whether the law, which presents abortion funding and rationing concerns for pro-life groups, is unconstitutional.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court justices turned down Virginia’s request in a decision that doesn’t surprise most legal observers. The nation’s leading court only rarely expedites cases, and that usually happens with wartime decisions or a major constitutional or election crisis that must be decided quickly.

With hearings already scheduled for May and June in federal appeals courts for the various cases challenging Obamacare, the Supreme Court is expected to receive the case in time for a decision by early summer of next year — in what could be a preview of one of the most contentious issues of the 2012 presidential election.