- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Party affiliation remains the “foremost predictor” of whether a person will disapprove of the new health care law, Gallup said.

The polling company said political party looms larger than race, income, personal ideology, gender or education.

Republicans are 17 times more likely to disapprove of the law than Democrats, and independents are five times more likely than Democrats to disapprove of the sweeping overhaul.

Democratic majorities muscled the Affordable Care Act through Congress in 2010 without any support from Republican lawmakers, creating a fierce rift over the law that’s persisted to today.

The law’s first round of enrollment ended Monday night with mixed reviews. More than 6 million Americans selected a private health plan through the law, often with the help of government subsidies, but Republicans said any optimism around the law will collapse when people try to use their coverage or see how their premiums change.

Gallup said party ID is also a major determinant of how people view the law’s long-term effects. Republicans are about 22 times more likely than Democrats to say the law will make things worse.

“The extraordinary importance of party identification in predicting a person’s support for the legislation raises the question of whether the ACA can ever escape its polarizing branding and be accepted by policymakers — present and future — as settled law, rather than an ongoing political battle,” Gallup said.

“The healthcare law will undoubtedly be debated over the course of this year’s midterm elections that could leave the Republican Party in control of both houses of Congress,” it added. “But unless the GOP is able to obtain a difficult two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate, efforts to repeal or drastically alter the law will likely be unsuccessful at least through the 2016 presidential election, ensuring it remains a political football for the next few years.”