A new Kaiser Health News poll is at least the third survey to show that approval for health care reform is increasing, despite the GOP’s continued effort to paint the law as a failure. The new results show that “48% of the public had a favorable view of the law in June while 41% had an unfavorable opinion. A month earlier, the split was 41% favorable to 44% unfavorable”:
Moreover, just 27% of Americans want to repeal the law entirely and 12% of those who have an unfavorable impression said that the “law should be given a chance to work, with Congress making necessary changes along the way.” For all of the noise we’re hearing about repealing the law and the health care lawsuits, these aren’t very impressive numbers. On the whole, most Americans believe that the law will have a neutral impact but think that the country as a whole would be better off.
I’ve argued before that reform will need to deliver some early benefits to truly turn the numbers around and this poll suggests that it’s unclear if anyone is paying any attention to all the discussion about pending benefits (from the GOP and the administration). For instance, the number of individuals who recognize some of the oft-talked about provisions like extending dependent coverage until age 26, and the individual mandate actually decreased. The number who know about the high risk pools for individuals with pre‐existing conditions increased by just one percentage point.