It is not altogether surprising that support for the Affordable Care Act is divided among political lines. What may be surprising is the fact that women are significantly more for the provision than men, at 54 to 47.
Support for the Affordable Care Act is usually political in nature, people who identify as liberal are significantly more for it than people who identify as conservative. A new poll from the Center for Political Communication was conducted over about two and a half weeks in May and June and polled 906 people adds a new wrinkle to who supports the act. The questions were asked by telephone.
The indivudal mandate is the controversial part of the Affordable Care Act that the United States Supreme Court will rule on. The mandate, which would take effect in 2014, states that all citizens must have some health insurance
The question was phrased five different ways: "Do you favor or oppose a requirement that all have health insurance?" The same question was asked of respondents four different ways, replacing the word "requirement" with "federal requirement," "State requirement," "the federal requirement, signed by President Obama" and "the state requirement, signed by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney."
Interestingly, 51 percent favored the proposition when the sentence simply said “requirement.” Respondents were dead even when the term was replaced with “federal requirement.” 54 percent favored the mandate when the sentence mentioned a state requirement, and 56 percent favored the "requirement signed by former Governor Mitt Romney" version. A somewhat surprising 62 percent favored the "requirement signed by President Obama" version.
People were very sharply for or against the individual mandate according to party and ideological lines. 78 percent of Democrats favored the mandate, while only 31 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of independents were for it.
As for gender, the opinion between men and women, in regards to the health care mandate, diverged the most when President Obama was mentioned. When the question “Do you favor or oppose the federal requirement, signed by President Obama, that all have health insurance?” 67 percent of women said they favored it – a 10 point difference compared with men.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. The decision is highly anticipated, and may be a factor in the outcome of the presidential election. According to the Center’s Associate Director of Research, the survey proves that the Supreme Court’s decision will be polarizing either way they vote.