Most Americans won't like health care ruling -- whatever it is

Los Angeles TimesJune 19, 2012 

LOS ANGELES -- Save yourself the bother and just get ticked off now: A new poll shows that most people will be unhappy regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in its much-anticipated decision on the nation's sweeping health care law.

The survey by the Pew Research Center found that regardless of whether the law is upheld, struck down or kept intact except for its "individual mandate," fewer than half those asked would be happy with the outcome.

Not surprisingly, the poll found opinions split along partisan lines: most Democrats would be pleased if the law, President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, is allowed to stand. Most Republicans would be happy if the law is nullified.

The most closely watched group, political independents, tilted against the health care act. Half said they would be happy if the law was overturned, while 35 percent would be happy to see it upheld.

The justices issued their latest set of decisions Monday morning and the health care ruling was not among them. There is a chance the opinion, arguably the most consequential of the current Supreme Court term, will be issued on Thursday. Most court watchers, however, expect the decision to come sometime next week.

Overall, by a 48 percent to 43 percent margin, most of those surveyed continued to oppose the health care bill, though most do not have a particularly good understanding of its provisions. Only 18 percent said they understood the law very well, while just about half said they understood it somewhat. Nearly a third said they understand it not too well or not at all well.

One explanation for the opposition could be the barrage of negative advertising surrounding the legislation; critics of the law have outspent supporters more than 3-to-1 in paid TV advertising.

The Pew survey was conducted nationally June 7-17 among 2,013 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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