Polls show deep partisan divide over Affordable Care Act

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A comprehensive analysis of data from 27 public opinion polls conducted by 14 organizations, including a poll in September of those most likely to vote, shows an electorate polarized by political party when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A majority of Republican likely voters want the next Congress to repeal the law (56 percent), with an additional 27 percent favoring scaling it back. In contrast, a majority of Democratic voters want the new Congress to move ahead with the law (74 percent), either by implementing the current law (30 percent) or expanding its scope (44 percent). Independent likely voters fall in between, with 34 percent favoring repealing the law, 27 percent scaling it back, 8 percent implementing the current law, and 26 percent expanding it (Chart 1).

“The intensity of partisan feeling about the ACA in this election could make the next phase of its implementation a very contentious issue in the next Congress,” said Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the analysis that appears as an online Special Report on October 29, 2014 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

View the charts.