From the non-profit part of Kaiser, which runs a well-respected health poll, via the Hill:
Americans view Democrats’ signature health reform bill more positively now than at any point since it was signed into law, a new poll found Thursday.
50 percent of the public say they view the new healthcare law favorably, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll that has been tracking public opinion about the legislation since it became law.
The July numbers mark the strongest support for reform since it reached a low in May, when the Kaiser poll found the public opposed the law 44-41 percent.
Independents, for example, are fav/unfav 29/26, similar to the overall 29/25. And note the numbers for repeal (only 27% want that, even though it's the GOP's position.
The poll also took a closer look at the views of seniors since they are often assumed to have a uniform view about issues. Below are some of the poll’s key findings about seniors’ views:
While seniors’ views of the new law are more negative than those of their younger counterparts, they remain roughly split about the law with 46 percent of seniors holding an unfavorable view of the law and 38 percent holding a favorable one. While 35 percent of seniors think they will be worse off under reform, a greater share (57%) say they will be better off (20%) or it will make no difference (37%).
Seniors’ awareness about the specific provisions of the health reform law that affect Medicare is mixed. For example, about half are aware that the new law will result in premium increases for some higher income Medicare beneficiaries (52%) and gradually close Medicare’s “doughnut hole” (50%). However, just a third (33% ) know the law will eliminate Medicare’s co-pays and deductibles for some preventive services.
And the WaPo's Behind the Numbers also slices and dices senior attitudes:
Seniors have long been more negative than younger adults toward the changes, and the new poll takes a deeper look at the reasons behind their opposition to the bill. A majority (52 percent) of seniors describe themselves as "disappointed" about the bill; 45 percent say they are "confused" by it and 42 percent are "anxious."
The poll suggests that older Americans' negative feelings about the bill may rest on perceptions that it will make it more difficult and expensive for those on Medicare to access health care. More than three-quarters of those age 65 and over who hold negative views of the new law say it will weaken the Medicare system and its financial backing, make it harder for those on Medicare to find a doctor who is willing to see them or to get needed health care, and increase out of pocket costs for seniors.
Overall, you can see why Republicans fought this tooth and nail. Once it's passed, and people find out what is in it, they tend to like it. And repealing it is a fool's errand.
Politico reports that business groups are preparing ads for the November elections and some are targeting health reform. "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already vowed to invest $75 million in the mid-term elections. And health insurers are also planning to play big in November, although the specifics remain in flux. ... Both America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and its Coalition for Medicare Choices are expected to play a major role in the messaging, along with individual companies. But neither group, according to sources, plans to directly attack Democrats, which would risk infuriating the White House as it writes reform regulations as well as the Blue Dog Democrats who opposed the legislation." Likely ads include those targeted to seniors in the Medicare Advantage program "explaining it was health reform – not insurers – that is responsible for their higher bills and slashed benefits, one industry official said" (Cummings and Frates, 7/28).
Expect Republicans to try and scare seniors, but from the numbers, the public is nonetheless coming around to view health reform positively, and repeal is going nowhere.