New High: 61% See Repeal of Obamacare Law As Likely

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2012   |   11:59AM   |   Washington, DC

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows 61 percent of Americans, a new high, believe the Supreme Court will overturn the Obamacare law that has strong opposition from pro-life groups because of rationing and abortion funding concerns.

“Following a week of highly-publicized hearings before the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, most voters continue to favor repeal of the law, and more than ever think it’s likely to be repealed,” Rasmussen pollster Scott Rasmussen said.

The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 41% who strongly favor it. Forty percent (40%) are at least somewhat opposed to repeal, with 25% who are strongly opposed.

Since the law’s passage by Congress in March 2010, most voters have favored repeal in virtually every survey, with support running as high as 62%. Opposition to repeal has ranged from 32% to 44%.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters believe it’s at least somewhat likely the health care law will be repealed, up from 50% in mid-February and the highest level expecting repeal since the law was passed in late March 2010.  Just 24% don’t see repeal of the law as likely, the lowest level measured yet.

“Prior to the latest survey, likelihood of repeal has ranged from 38% to 58% since April 2010,” Rasmussen explained. “In that time, the number who feels repeal is not likely ranged from 28% to 51%. Belief that repeal is likely has risen since early September, however. Prior to that time, voters were almost evenly divided on the question in most surveys since the law’s passage. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives voted to repeal the law early last year, but that effort ground to a halt in the Democratic-controlled Senate. All the major GOP presidential contenders have vowed to repeal the law if elected.”

Most voters continue to believe the federal government does not have the authority to force people to buy health insurance,  and they expect the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the health care law that includes that mandate, the new survey found.

A majority (52%) believes the health care law will be bad for the United States, a finding that has remained in the narrow range of 45% to 56% since March 2010.  Thirty-six percent (36%) feel the health care law will be good for the nation, while three percent (3%) say it will have no impact.

Most Republicans (73%) and voters not affiliated with either political party (62%) think it’s likely the health care law will be repealed.  Democrats are more narrowly divided, but only 38% do not think it’s likely the law will be repealed.

The nation’s highest court today held hearings on all parts of the Obamacare law including one of the most contentious portions of the Obamacare law that is opposed by pro-life groups because of rationing and abortion funding concerns — the individual mandate.

The mandate requires Americans to purchase health insurance and the judges on the high court made it appear they are very skeptical whether the mandate is constitutional — so much so that many Supreme Court observers believe that the law is in trouble.

Potential swing vote Anthony Kennedy, a judge who sometimes sides with pro-life advocates and normally sides with conservatives in top cases but also favors Roe, appeared concerned that forcing people to purchase health insurance would lead them to be required to purchase other products ranging from cell phones to gym memberships, according to Washington Examiner reporter Philip Klein, who attended the hearings.

Kennedy, who is thought to be a swing vote in this debate, seemed very skeptical about the mandate — calling such an idea “unprecedented.” He told the Solicitor General that the government needed to answer a “very heavy burden of justification” to show how the Constitution authorizes Congress to require that people buy insurance.

Klein said Kennedy emphasized the unprecedented nature of the mandate and suggested government had a “heavy burden of justification” for it. Kennedy said the Obamacare law “changes the relationship between the individual and the government in a very fundamental way.”

“That’s my concern in the case,” Kennedy said, according to Reuters, noting that young, uninsured people affect the overall market by not paying into it and ultimately receiving care over the long term.

“The questions raised by Justice Kennedy indicate a growing concern about the constitutionality of the individual mandate,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “While you can never predict the outcome of a Supreme Court case based on oral arguments, it is very encouraging that it appears a majority of the Justices understand that requiring Americans to purchase health insurance raises significant constitutional questions. The concerns were clear: if the government is permitted to force Americans to purchase health insurance, where do you draw the line? Most Americans don’t want ObamaCare and we’re hopeful that a majority of the Justices declare the entire health care law, including the individual mandate, unconstitutional.”

Meanwhile, Chief Justice John Roberts said if the mandate is upheld, government power will be without limits. Klein said Roberts also noted the mandate doesn’t just force people into the emergency insurance market but forces them to pay for other benefits they may never need. Justice Samuel Alito compared the mandate to health insurance mandating everybody purchase burial insurance.

CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, following the Supreme Court arguments, suggested the future for Obamacare at the Supreme Court looks grim, based on what he saw during the hearing.

“This was a train wreck for the Obama administration,” he said. “This law looks like it’s going to be struck down. I’m telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong… if I had to bet today I would bet that this court is going to strike down the individual mandate.”