A new poll shows that public anxiety about Obamacare and its implementation remains high, but, like earlier polls, the latest survey also shows that the unpopularity of the law is not translating into support for Republican plans to defund Obamacare during upcoming budget negotiations.
The Kaiser Family Foundation survey released Wednesday found that 42 percent of adults have an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 37 percent view the law favorably. Additionally, 51 percent said they didn't know enough about Obamacare to understand how it would "impact them and their family."
But that lack of public support for President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment is doing nothing to bolster Republican efforts in Congress to defund the Affordable Care Act. Overall, 57 percent said they don't want to see the new reforms defunded -- including 33 percent of those who don't favor Obamacare and 34 percent who identify as Republicans. A majority of independent voters, 53 percent, also disapproved.
The Kaiser polls have consistently produced higher favorable ratings for Obamacare — and lower unfavorability — than other surveys, which is perhaps a function of its focus on the opinions of "adults" rather than registered or likely voters. But Kaiser's latest poll is similar to other surveys, including one done for a Tea Party group in late July that showed an uphill climb for supporters of the defund strategy.
The most common explanation respondents give for not supporting the defunding of Obamacare through the budget process is that it's unfair. Of those who oppose defunding, 69 percent said it was because they feel the right way to stop Obamacare is through a full repeal or by defeating it when it was first proposed. Those respondents said using the budget process to stop a law is not the way government should work.
There were other revelations in the poll. A full 44 percent didn't appear to know that the Affordable Care Act was already the law of the land. Eight percent thought it had been repealed and 5 percent thought the Supreme Court overturned it. Another 31 percent didn't know anything about the status of the law or didn't answer.
The Kaiser poll surveyed 1503 adults in English and Spanish, via landline and cell phone, between Aug. 13 and Aug. 19. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points. Among respondents, 51.5 percent were female; 48.5 percent were male; 33.3 percent identified as Democrats; 29.7 percent as Independents and 21.3 percent as Republicans.