- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Kaiser Family Foundation says a 43-42 percent split over the law is the first time more people viewed the law favorably than unfavorably since November 2012, although that edge is statistically insignificant and well within the survey’s margin of error.

Partisan divides over the 2010 law remain strong, with 70 percent of Democrats viewing the law favorably and 75 percent of Republicans giving it poor marks, according to the foundation’s April tracking poll.

A majority of Americans — 56 percent — say the law has not had a direct impact on their families, while 19 percent say it has helped them and 22 percent say it hurt.

The 2014 tax season that ended last week marked the first time filers had to address their health care status on their returns. Some had to pay a tax penalty under Obamacare’s “individual mandate” for failing to hold health insurance, while others had to reconcile their income with government subsidies they received to purchase coverage on the Obamacare exchanges.

“The one-two punch of the mandate and repayments at tax time might have produced a public backlash — but it has not,” the foundation’s President and CEO, Drew Altman, wrote Tuesday for the Wall Street Journal’s ThinkTank blog.

He said that’s because Americans seemed to be prepared for the provisions. 

Kaiser’s tracking poll found that at least half of those surveyed knew the health care-status provision took effect for the 2014 filing year, and that someone who received financial help form the government to afford their premiums could end up owing money back if their income or family size changed during the year.

But people knew less about other aspects of the health overhaul.

The Congressional Budget Office said in March the federal government will spend less on the health care law than it initially thought, but the news didn’t sink in with the public, according to the poll.

Only 8 percent of surveyed people know that the law is projected to cost less, while half think it is costing more, 18 percent think original estimates are still valid and nearly a quarter did not know what to say.

The public is also divided over what Congress should do next. 

Slightly less than half of them want lawmakers to expand what the law does (24 percent) or implement it as it (22 percent), while roughly four in 10 want Congress to scale the law back (12 percent) or repeal it outright (29 percent).


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