A slight majority of Americans believe it’s not the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that all Americans have health coverage. Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, a majority had the opposite view. In fact, back in 2006, 69% believed ensuring health coverage was a government responsibility.
In its analysis of a new poll, Gallup points out that many people support provisions in the ACA, but then oppose the ACA itself.
Americans’ attitudes about the government’s role in ensuring healthcare coverage help explain their reactions to the ACA. The act’s proponents have pointed out that Americans favor a number of the act’s provisions when tested in isolation, and that the act has already lowered the nation’s uninsured rate. Yet, a majority of Americans continue to say they disapprove of it, even as the ACA is making progress toward its stated goal of expanding health insurance coverage. That more than half of Americans think it is not the government’s role to make sure Americans have healthcare coverage suggests that opposition to the ACA may be centered more on its philosophical underpinnings, rather than on the specifics of its actual provisions and outcomes.