This AEI Special Poll Report takes a look at long public opinion trends on health care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which became law four years ago this month. Here are some conclusions from this new study of the polls:
• We examine the trends from nine major pollsters. Almost all polls show more opposition to the law than support for it. A March 2014 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that 39 percent of Americans support the law, while 57 percent oppose it.
• Democrats have lost ground on whether they would handle health care better than Republicans in Congress, though Democrats’ ratings on health care still tend to exceed those of their GOP counterparts. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Democrats with a 6-point advantage in December 2013, down from a 16-point advantage in February 2013.
• According to a March Gallup survey, 4 in 10 Americans believe the health care law will make their family’s health care situation worse. Only about 2 in 10 believe the law will make their situation better.
• A vast majority of Americans believe that the ACA needs to be altered at least somewhat. A February 2014 CBS poll finds that half of Americans believe the law needs some changes, while 42 percent say the law has so much wrong with it that it needs to be repealed entirely.