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Surprise: Republicans Account for Small Increase in Health-Care Law Support

Gnome-face-surprise (Gnome icon artists on Wikimedia Commons)

The number of people who think the new health-care law is a good thing has improved slightly from when it was passed, according to a new Gallup poll. In April, 49 percent of Americans thought the new law was a bad thing and 45 percent thought it was a good thing. The June poll shows support has switched, with 45 percent in the “bad” camp and 49 percent favoring. This is modest improvement, although it’s not statistically significant.

Most interesting, all of the improvement in support comes from Republicans.

Reaction to Congress's Passage of Healthcare Reform Bill -- Recent Trend, by Party ID

The legislation actually loses some support among Democrats, remains steady with independents and takes a 14-point swing in favor among Republicans. This rise among Republicans may be statistical noise, or something real: the result of moderate Republicans taking another look at the bill in a less heated light. The legislation has changed very little about our health-care system, will eventually effect only modest change and won’t start really altering the landscape for several years. No death panels, no government takeover and no, almost, anything at this three-month mark.

It is possible that a small segment of Republicans swept up in the partisan frenzy against the law at the height of the fight now see that it’s merely a rehashed, modest GOP proposal. Nothing to get worked up over, and now they can focus on other, more pressing problems.

Before Democrats start getting too excited, remember this is a poll of all adults. This group is significantly more Democratic and liberal leaning than likely voters in the midterm. Based on this poll, it would be safe to assume that among the people who will actually go to the polls in November, slightly more still think the law is a bad thing than a good thing. With Americans now considering jobs, the economy and the oil spill as far more important problems than health care, how they view the new law might be less significant than those concerns when they cast their ballots.

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Surprise: Republicans Account for Small Increase in Health-Care Law Support

The number of people who think the new health-care law is a good thing has improved slightly from when it was passed, according to a new Gallup poll. In April, 49 percent of Americans thought the new law was a bad thing and 45 percent thought it was a good thing. The June poll shows support has switched, with 45 percent in the “bad” camp and 49 percent favoring. This is modest improvement, although it’s not statistically significant.

Most interesting, all of the improvement in support comes from Republicans.

Reaction to Congress's Passage of Healthcare Reform Bill -- Recent Trend, by Party ID

The legislation actually loses some support among Democrats, remains steady with independents and takes a 14-point swing in favor among Republicans. This rise among Republicans may be statistical noise, or something real: the result of moderate Republicans taking another look at the bill in a less heated light. The legislation has changed very little about our health-care system, will eventually effect only modest change and won’t start really altering the landscape for several years. No death panels, no government takeover and no, almost, anything at this three-month mark.

It is possible that a small segment of Republicans swept up in the partisan frenzy against the law at the height of the fight now see that it’s merely a rehashed, modest GOP proposal. Nothing to get worked up over, and now they can focus on other, more pressing problems.

Before Democrats start getting too excited, remember this is a poll of all adults. This group is significantly more Democratic and liberal leaning than likely voters in the midterm. Based on this poll, it would be safe to assume that among the people who will actually go to the polls in November, slightly more still think the law is a bad thing than a good thing. With Americans now considering jobs, the economy and the oil spill as far more important problems than health care, how they view the new law might be less significant than those concerns when they cast their ballots.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com