Health Care Reform Gains Wider Acceptance from Population

Key components of the health care reform law are gaining wider acceptance from the American population, according to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll. The controversial reform act which promised to provide health insurance to millions is gaining favor, but in very different ways.

Health Care Reform Gains Increase in Support

According to the new poll, there has been an overall increase in the number of people who accept the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the health care reform law, but Americans are still divided over the legislation and their split falls mostly along party lines.

The poll found 36 percent of adults say they want to have the law repealed, 21 percent say they want it to remain the way it is and 25 percent would like to see specific elements of the law modified, but agree with it overall.

As for party designations, 63 percent of Republicans say they want the law repealed, while only 9 percent of Democrats feel the same way. However, one aspect that both parties seem to agree on is that the individual mandate that adults must purchase coverage or face penalties should go–only 19 percent of poll respondents agreed that it should stay.

Health Insurance Components Rise in Popularity

The poll found that among the issues that saw the greatest increases in popularity along all party lines was specific aspects of the law relating to health insurance and consumers’ relationships with insurance companies.

For instance, 71 percent polled back the law’s provision that prevents insurers from denying coverage to those already sick, compared with 64 percent who supported this provision in Nov. 2010. Other provisions that have seen an increase in support include:

  • 57 percent in Jan. 2012 like provision that allows adult children to remain on parents’ health insurance plans until age 26, compared with 55 percent in Nov. 2010.
  • 59 percent agree with created health insurance exchanges where people can shop for coverage, compared with 51 percent.
  • 53 percent like that the law will require all employers with 50 or more employees to offer insurance to their employees or pay a penalty, compared with 48 percent in the previous poll.

The poll found that a large portion of the population is still unclear about what’s actually in the health care reform law or how it works, having no real idea about how it could impact them when much of it takes effect in 2014. But of those who are aware of its provisions, more are supporting it than ever before.