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Partisanship Guides Americans' Attitudes on Health-Care Reform Law: Poll
Date:10/26/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- 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, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds.

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of more than 2,500 adults conducted earlier this month, 31 percent of adults surveyed said they want the entire law repealed, another 27 percent want to keep it in its entirety, and 22 percent want to keep only parts of it.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