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Attitudes On Health Care Reform Track Along Party Lines, Says Poll

PR Newswire Association LLC

NORWALK, Conn., Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Two years after it was signed into law, Americans' views on the Affordable Care Act continue to track along party lines, even among those who say they've personally been affected by the controversial health-reform legislation, today's new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds.

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According to the poll of more than 2,500 adults conducted earlier this month, 31 percent said they want the entire law repealed, 27 percent want to keep it in its entirety, and 22 percent want to keep only parts of it.

But as with a similar poll conducted a year ago, attitudes hewed closely to party lines: Most Republicans (63 percent) favor repeal while many Democrats (49 percent) want to keep all of the law or just tweak parts of it (19 percent).

And yet big majorities across the political spectrum said they want to retain parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law, one of the legislative centerpieces of President Barack Obama's presidency, has been a frequent topic of debate during the pending election, with Republican challenger Mitt Romney pledging to repeal it.

For instance, 70 percent of those surveyed said they want to keep the rule that prevents insurers from denying health coverage based on pre-existing conditions -- up from 64 percent in 2010, when the law was signed by Obama.

The "individual mandate," on the other hand, remains a bitter source of contention, with 55 percent opposing it, roughly the same as two years ago. This provision requires Americans who don't have insurance to buy it or face a penalty. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the provision in a ruling handed down in June.

Harris Poll Chairman Humphrey Taylor said the results aren't surprising. "This survey indicates that many people can have different attitudes to the forest (the 'big picture') and to the trees (the 'specifics')," he said.

The poll included 2,516 U.S adults over age 18 surveyed online between Oct. 2-4, 2012 by Harris Interactive, one of the world's leading custom market research firms. HealthDay is a leading producer and syndicator of health news.

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The complete findings of the newest joint Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll are available here. HealthDay's news report is available here. Full data on the poll and its methodology are available at Harris Interactive.

About HealthDay
HealthDay is a leading producer and syndicator of evidence-based health news for consumers and physicians and is one of the largest health news syndicators to Internet sites. Its daily consumer health news service http://consumer.healthday.com/ appears on more than 5,000 websites such as Yahoo!, MSN Health, USNews.com, Everyday Health, and government websites like Healthfinder.gov, and MedlinePlus. A daily video version of the top health news story of the day is featured on HealthDay TV, a 90-second daily news broadcast appearing on several major media and U.S. government websites.

HealthDay also produces Physician's Briefing (www.physiciansbriefing.com), a daily news service for physicians and other medical professionals. This service is licensed to hospitals, managed care organizations, media companies, and point of care providers like Epocrates.

HealthDay's custom content division produces specialized content for a variety of audiences and works with some of the larger health portals in the United States.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

TABLE 1

FAVOR REPEALING OR KEEPING REFORM BILL

"It has been more than two years since the healthcare reform legislation was signed into law by President Barack Obama, much of which has not yet been implemented.

New Strategy to avoid RMDs Do you think the law should…?"

Base: All Adults

Party

December

2010

February

2011

October

2012

New Strategy to avoid RMDs

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

Remain in Place

22

22

27

5

49

24

Be Repealed

28

27

31

63

10

31

Have Parts Changed

21

24

22

23

19

27

Not Sure

29

27

19

9

21

18

Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

 

 

 

TABLE 2

WHICH BITS OF BILL PEOPLE WANT TO KEEP OR REPEAL

"Would you like to keep or to repeal each of the following things, all of which are part of the health care reform bill now?"

 

Base:  All Adults

   

Keep

2010

Keep

2012

Repeal 2010

Repeal

2012

Not Sure 2010

Not Sure 2012

It prevents insurers from denying coverage to people because they are or have been sick.

 

%

64

70

16

16

20

13

It provides tax credits to small businesses to help pay for their employees' insurance.

 

%

60

71

17

14

23

15

It allows children to stay on their parents' insurance until they are 26.

 

%

55

63

24

22

 

21

15

It will limit insurance companies' profit margins.

 

%

53

57

21

23

27

20

New insurance exchanges will be set up where people can shop for insurance.

 

%

51

61

17

16

32

23

It requires all employers with 50 or more employees to offer insurance to their employees or pay a penalty.

 

%

48

55

29

29

23

16

Research will be conducted to measure the effectiveness of different treatments.

 

%

44

57

25

19

31

24

   

Keep

2010

Keep

2012

Repeal 2010

Repeal

2012

Not Sure 2010

Not Sure 2012

An annual fee to be paid by drug companies.

 

%

41

47

28

25

31

28

It will increase the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid.

 

%

37

41

31

32

32

26

A new Independent Payment Advisory Board to limit the growth of Medicare spending.

 

%

32

41

29

28

39

31

It requires people who don't have insurance to buy it or pay a penalty.

 

%

19

26

57

55

25

20

Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

 

TABLE 3

IMPACT OF HEALTHCARE REFORM ON PUBLIC SO FAR

"What type of effect, if any, has the healthcare reform bill had on your life, personally?"

Base: All Adults

   

Party

Total

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

Positive Effect (Net)

14

4

22

13

     Very positive

5

2

8

4

     Somewhat positive

9

2

13

9

Negative Effect (Net)

23

42

9

25

     Somewhat negative

16

26

6

19

     Very negative

8

16

3

7

No Effect

51

44

58

52

Not Sure

12

10

11

10

Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

 

TABLE 4

IMPACT OF HEALTHCARE REFORM ON FAMILY SO FAR

"What type of effect, if any, has the healthcare reform bill had on the lives of your family (e.g., parents, children, brothers, sisters)?"

Base: All Adults

   

Party

Total

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

Positive Effect (Net)

17

7

27

15

     Very positive

6

2

10

5

     Somewhat positive

11

5

17

10

Negative Effect (Net)

23

45

8

26

     Somewhat negative

15

27

6

18

     Very negative

8

17

2

8

No Effect

40

31

48

41

Not Sure

19

17

17

18

Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

 

TABLE 5

IMPACT OF HEALTHCARE REFORM ON FRIENDS AND OTHERS SO FAR

"What type of effect, if any, has the healthcare reform bill had on the lives of anyone outside your family (e.g., friends, co-workers, neighbors)?"

Base: All Adults

   

Party

Total

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

Positive Effect (Net)

15

3

27

14

     Very positive

7

1

14

5

     Somewhat positive

8

2

13

8

Negative Effect (Net)

22

38

9

26

     Somewhat negative

15

22

8

19

     Very negative

7

16

1

7

No Effect

23

22

25

22

Not Sure

39

37

39

39

Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.


TABLE 6

IMPACT OF SPECIFIC ELEMENTS OF THE HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL

"In which of the following ways, if any, have you or anyone you know been affected by thehealthcare reform bill? Please select all that apply."

Base: All Adults

   

Party

Total

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

Any Effect (Net)

60

67

58

62

Children up to age 26 being covered by their parents health insurance

23

23

26

23

An increase in taxes

19

34

9

21

Experienced a decline in the quality of care

16

30

6

19

Able to obtain more preventive medical services or tests

14

4

23

14

Access to health insurance despite a pre-existing medical condition

14

6

22

13

A person on Medicare paying less for their prescription drugs

13

6

21

13

Experienced an improvement in the quality of care

7

2

13

6

None

40

33

42

38

Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United StatesOctober 2-4, 2012 among 2,516 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal. 

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Full data available at www.harrisinteractive.com

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

 

CONTACT: Corporate Communications, press@harrisinteractive.com, +1-212-539-9600

SOURCE Harris Poll

Wordcount:  1815

 



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