U.S. support waning for Obama healthcare law: poll

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2011 12:13 AM
U.S. support waning for Obama healthcare law: poll

(Reuters) - Americans' opinion of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform in October reached its lowest point since the law passed in March 2010, according to a monthly poll by the non-profit, non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

The view of the law has been roughly evenly split since its passage, but in October 51 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, while 34 percent said their opinion was favorable, poll results released on Friday showed.

In September, the split was 43 percent to 41 percent. And October's gap is closest to the one the poll tracked in July 2010, when the division was 50 percent to 35 percent.

The gap widened largely because the law appeared to be falling out of favor with Democrats, whose support dropped to its lowest point of 52 percent from 65 percent in September.

Although Democrats were still much likelier to view the law favorably than Republicans or independents, the percentage of Democrats who said they and their families were better off under the healthcare law dropped significantly to 27 percent in October from 43 percent in September.

As Republican candidates are gearing up in the effort to unseat Obama in 2012, the healthcare law has become one of the major sticking points and Mitt Romney's campaign has fielded shots at his own healthcare law in Massachusetts that, his opponents argue, closely mirrors Obama's.

The Kaiser poll in October found that almost three-quarters of Americans and about 70 percent of likely Republican primary voters didn't know enough about former Massachusetts Governor Romney's law to form an opinion about it, judge its effectiveness or compare it to Obama's.

The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll surveyed a nationally representative random sample of 1,223 Americans 18 and older between October 13 and 18 through telephone interviews.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)