It was encouraging to see the poll numbers are up for President Barack Obama’s health care reform act after the Supreme Court ruling.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday revealed overall support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has risen to 48 percent, up from 43 percent before the Supreme Court ruling Thursday.
Republicans and independent voters are backing the law in greater numbers.
Thirty eight percent of independent voters support the President’s plan, up from 27 percent in a poll taken days before the Supreme Court decision. Republican opposition to the measure dropped slightly, to 81 percent, down from 86 percent.
Becoming increasingly popular are provisions such as eliminating denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, requiring companies with 50 or more employees to provide medical benefits, and that children my stay on their parents’ insurance until reaching 26-years of age.
Debate continues to rage over the individual mandate part of the reform plan, which requires people to obtain health coverage under the law or face a penalty. The new survey shows no change in this area, 39 percent of Americans support it, with 61 percent against.
The Obama administration originally argued that the individual mandate provision would fall under the authority of the commerce clause, but the Supreme Court found it constitutional via the government’s power to impose taxes.
It seems to me whether you want to call it a tax or not, the end result is the same – it’s a penalty.
This applies only to those who refuse to obtain insurance when they have the means to purchase it. This provision slams the door on irresponsible individuals who seek treatment through emergency room visits and then pass their health care costs along to everyone else.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates only one percent of the population will be impacted by this penalty.
That figure has been corroborated by the results seen in Massachusetts by the implementation of its own health reform law, referred to as Romneycare, which the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, signed into law when he was governor.
Massachusetts also reports one percent of its population has been penalized for not signing up for health care insurance as prescribed by law.
The increasing support shown in this new poll for President Obama’s universal health care policy creates a stark contrast to the comments made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), on Fox News Sunday.
In response to host Chris Wallace’s question of how Republicans, if they repealed Obamacare, would provide universal coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans, McConnell answered, “The single best thing we can do for the American health care system is to get rid of Obamacare.”
If the poll numbers keep going up as more people begin to understand the benefits of Obama’s wide-reaching health care reform act, this insistence by Republicans to blindly dismiss a plan that will provide affordable insurance to 30 million uninsured Americans may leave the GOP singing the blues come election day.