More than half of the nation approves of the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell that subsides on the federal health care exchange can be legally issued to consumers.
According to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, when told the outcome of the case, just over 6-in-10 (62%) of those surveyed by Kaiser said they approve of the Courts decision, while a third (32%) disapproved. These approval numbers are higher than the 2012 Supreme Court decision upholding most major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. In a June 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking poll, the public was more evenly split, with 47% approving and 43% disapproving, Kaiser notes.
The majority in favor [of the King v. Burwell ruling] is pretty healthy considering the redistributional nature of the subsidies and the fact that the overall population affected is pretty small, says Katherine Hempstead, a director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Even if you count the off exchange market in the Healthcare.gov states.
In this recent poll, conducted June 25-29 of 1,202 adults, there are the expected partisan differences in views, with Democrats more likely to approve of the decision and Republicans more likely to disapprove, the Kaiser Family Foundation notes. However, views on the law and on the Courts decision in this case are not completely aligned. About three in ten Republicans (29%) and a similar share of those who view the law unfavorably (30%) say they approve of the Courts decision in this case.
Despite the media attention surrounding King v. Burwell, Americans were largely not paying attention to the case. The poll found that 39% of those surveyed said theyve heard a lot or some about the case. Yet, a majority (61%) say they have heard only a little (30%) or nothing at all (31%) about the case.
When it comes to next steps about the ACA, the country remains divided. With the Court case over, 51% say it is important to continue the debate over the ACA, while 44% say they are tired of hearing about it and think the country should focus more on other issues, according to Kaiser.
Despite that, a large majority (78%) of Americans think future battles over the health care law are inevitable, while just 18% believe the most recent debate that reached the Supreme Court is the last major battle the law will face, Kaiser found.
Those surveyed were spilt on what they want to happen next, with 25% saying they want to expand what the law does, 27% calling for a full repeal and the rest falling in the middle.
As campaign season approaches, the public seems to anticipate that the issue of how we pay for health care will stay on the agenda, and the various candidates will take positions that will range from blowing up the ACA to minor tweaks, with many stops in between, Hempstead explains.
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