The poll found 43% of Americans held an unfavorable opinion of the healthcare reform law in December, down from the year's peak in October of 51%.
“The October dip in support of the ACA, a dip fueled by a loss of support among the law's natural Democratic constituency, has been fully made up in December, with Democrats coming back on board and overall national opinion on the law back to the even split we've seen for most of 2011,” said a Kaiser Family Foundation summary of the poll results.
Americans broadly dislike the law's mandate for individual health insurance coverage, but the poll found opinion could be shifted by how the mandate was described. Favorable public opinion increased to 61% from 33% when respondents were told that “most Americans would still get coverage through their employers and so would automatically satisfy the requirement without having to buy new insurance.”
Meanwhile, favorable opinion dropped to 17% when respondents were told the Affordable Care Act individual insurance mandate could require some to “buy health insurance that they find too expensive or did not want.”
The telephone survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates for Kaiser between Dec. 8 and Dec. 13 and included a nationally representative sample of 1,212 adults.