- The Washington Times - Monday, November 17, 2014

Thirty-seven percent of Americans say they approve of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, while 56 percent disapprove, according to a new Gallup poll.

The 37 percent approval rating is 1 percentage point below the previous low from Gallup in January.

Approval of the law is largely split along party lines; 74 percent of Democrats and 8 percent of Republicans approve of it, while 33 percent of independents approve.

Approval from nonwhites also fell below 60 percent for the first time, sitting at 56 percent. Twenty-nine percent of whites approve of the law.

“The percentage of Americans who approve of the law represents a new numerical low, which could indicate a loss of faith in the law amid the aftermath of the 2014 midterms,” Gallup’s Justin McCarthy wrote.

“Although the ACA, also called Obamacare, was not as dominant an issue in this year’s congressional elections as it was in 2010, the issue was part of Republicans’ campaign efforts to oppose the president’s agenda overall. In doing that, many of the party’s candidates were successful,” he wrote.

The survey of 828 adults was taken from Nov. 6-9, ahead of the second round of open enrollment under the law, which began Saturday.

“Though the law’s implementation suffered setbacks last fall, government officials have greater optimism for the health insurance website’s usability this time around,” Mr. McCarthy wrote. “Importantly, though, approval of the law has remained low throughout the year even as it has had obvious success in reducing the uninsured rate. And with approval holding in a fairly narrow range since last fall, it may be that Americans have fairly well made up their minds about the law, and even a highly successful second open enrollment period may not do much to boost their approval.”

The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Broader disapproval of the law notwithstanding, a separate Gallup poll released last week found that more than seven in 10 Americans who bought new health insurance policies through government exchanges earlier in the year rate the quality of their health care and coverage as “excellent” or “good” — numbers in line with the marks all Americans give their insurance.

More newly insured were also satisfied with the cost of health care compared to all with insurance, and more than two-thirds of those who bought a new policy through a government exchange plan to renew

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