After remaining steady for several months, the share of Americans expressing an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rose to 53 percent in July, up eight percentage points from June to its highest level since the ACA was passed in 2010, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. The poll also finds that a majority of the public continues to prefer that Congress work to improve the health care law (60%) rather than to repeal and replace it (35%).
The share of Americans with a favorable view of the ACA held relatively steady in July at 37 percent, little changed since March. The share of the public who offered no opinion about the ACA fell to 11 percent in July, down from 16 percent in June.
The share of the public preferring to see the law improved rather than repealed has held steady for several months. It was 59 percent in May and 58 percent in April. Similarly, in January 55 percent of the public said opponents should accept that the ACA is the law and work to improve it, while 38 percent said the law’s opponents should continue efforts to repeal it. Even among Republicans (32%) and those with an unfavorable view of the law (36%), about a third would prefer to see the ACA improved rather than repealed and replaced, the July poll finds.
Public Split on Hobby Lobby Decision
A majority of the public (58%) believes the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, in which justices ruled that closely-held corporations can cite religious objections to avoid paying for contraceptive coverage as required under the ACA, is likely to prompt employers to try and use religious grounds to deny their workers coverage of other types of health care services, such as vaccinations or blood transfusions.
The public is evenly split on the Court’s decision, with 47 percent approving of the Hobby Lobby ruling and 49 percent disapproving. A majority of women disapprove of the decision (53% disapprove), while men are somewhat more evenly divided (50% approve vs. 46% disapprove). The bigger division is by partisan identification, with about 7 in 10 Republicans saying they approve of the decision and a similar share of Democrats saying they disapprove.
A majority (60%) of the public continues to support the requirement that private insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control, while about a third (33%) is opposed.
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