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Majority of Americans opposes withholding funding for health care law, poll shows

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By The Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:09 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — While Americans remain deeply divided over President Obama's health care law, a clear majority opposes withholding funding to implement the 2010 law, a new national survey indicates.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans say they disapprove of cutting off funding for the Affordable Care Act, while just 36 percent say they would approve such a move, according to the most recent poll from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

Making suspension of the health care law a condition for funding of the federal government has emerged this summer as a favored strategy by many Republicans looking for ways to derail final implementation of the law.

A large group of GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has urged Republican leaders to reject any government appropriations legislation this fall that continues to provide money for the law, even if the move would lead to the shutdown of the federal government.

But nearly 7 in 10 Americans who oppose this tactic said in the recent poll that “using the budget process to stop a law is not the way our government should work.”

Fifty-six percent of respondents who oppose the use of budget politics cited concerns that “without funding, the law will be crippled and won't work as planned.”

The latest Kaiser poll contained some troublesome findings for supporters of the law. Skepticism of the legislation remains high, with those holding unfavorable views of the law outnumbering those favoring it, 42 percent to 37 percent.

And 4 in 10 Americans continue to believe the law will leave the country worse off, compared with just over 3 in 10 who believe it will make the country better off.

The nationwide poll of 1,503 randomly selected adults was conducted Aug. 13-19. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points for the full sample.

Enrollment in insurance exchanges for those not on work-sponsored coverage or government plans begins Oct. 1. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

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