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Poll show Obamacare is working, for at least half the public

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"It is an honor for us to join in your memories, to recall and to reflect, and above all to reaffirm the true spirit of 9-11: love, compassion, sacrifice and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation," President Obama said at the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — More than half the public says Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country, although less than one in five Americans say they have personally benefited from the health care law, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that a majority of Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act, but some of that opposition is from people who don’t think the law goes far enough.

The poll, conducted this past weekend, was released on Wednesday, one day after a federal appeals court upheld Obamacare tax subsidies. That ruling came just a couple of hours after a separate appeals court struck down such subsidies for the millions of Americans enrolled in the federal government’s exchange.

According to the poll, only 18% of the public say they or their families are better off now that the major provisions of the health care law have been implemented. Another 35% report that, while their lives have not improved, the Affordable Care Act has benefited other people in the United States. Add those two numbers together and that means 53% say that Obamacare has helped either their families or others across the country.

Forty-four percent tell us that the health care law has not helped anyone in the country.

According to the poll, 40% of Americans say they support the health care law, basically unchanged from March but up from 35% in December, which was a record low in CNN polling. Fifty-nine percent of those questioned say they oppose the measure, down five points from December.

“Not all of the opposition to the health care law comes from the right,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Thirty-eight percent say they oppose the law because it’s too liberal, but 17% say they oppose it because it’s not liberal enough. That means more than half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it because it doesn’t go far enough.”

As expected, the poll indicates a continued wide partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans over the law and whether it’s working.

Political battle over Obamacare

The measure was passed into law in 2010, when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. The law, considered President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, was a major issue in 2010 and 2012, and is again in 2014, as many Republicans continue to call for Obamacare to be repealed and replaced.

While the Obamacare website suffered a disastrous rollout last autumn, things have improved. Major flaws with were addressed and major gains in enrollment were made.

But Republicans continue to keep their midterm campaign focus on the health care law. Earlier this month House Speaker John Boehner made Obamacare the focus of his lawsuit against the President.

The GOP obsession with the health care law may be smart politics: Midterm electorates are smaller than those of presidential elections, and the contests are often all about getting out base voters — and the GOP base continues to hate Obamacare.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20, with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • Robbie

    Republicans will never give the man credit for anything. I hate to admit it but I truly believe race is the issue. They have fought the man tooth and nail on everything he has wanted to do. Virginia is heading to the left and it’s the Republican parties fault.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      With democratic liars like this man youtube.c*m/watch?v=d2-HiQqet4I and sheeple like you that’s why Virginia is going blue. People are stupid and believe this bs.

  • manalishi

    “for at least half the public” How does that work when only 2 1/5% of the public have it? The article is a fraud,, like Robbie and Troll.

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. This article is full of s*** anyways.

    • B Addy

      Hang 10 this must be the first president you have been alive to see then. This pitiful excuse masquerading as potus will go down as the worst in the modern era. And to beat out J Carter for that title says something.

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    I use it and I can tell you from experience that the benefits are completely unrealistic. I can afford my own insurance, yet i pay close to nothing monthly for a policy that is normally between 2 and 300 dollars. I still get the same co-pays and other benefits as the policy holders who didn’t get it through the healthcare plan, I just get it almost free. Plus I probably make more money than them. There is no way we can afford the subsidies this president is just giving away to people who don’t need them.

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