A near majority of Americans, 47 percent, favor repealing the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday morning, which found that voters are fiercely divided over the issue of whether universal health care coverage is the federal government's responsibility.
Support of the health care reform law, which is being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, is highly partisan, according to the poll. Out of a survey of 1,012 of adults across the nation, 80 percent of self-identified Republicans said the law should be repealed, versus 21 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Independents.
Still, 42 percent respondents said the law should be kept in place -- including 62 percent of Democrats -- a slight improvement from the 40 percent who said the law's passage was a positive thing in October.
Strong Opinions on Both Sides of Issue
Gallup wrote the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act has elicited strong reactions from Americans on both sides of the issue. Sixty-six percent of respondents who favored repealing law said it was very important that Congress take action on the issue, while 60 percent of those in support of the measure also suggested it was imperative that Congress not repeal it.
The Supreme Court is tasked with determining the constitutionality of the healthcare law and will likely begin hearing arguments in March. Debate on the issue has focused on whether the federal government is obligated to provide healthcare to its citizens, with opponents framing it as an example of intrusive government infringing on the liberties of Americans.
The law, officially known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, would extend health insurance coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid services and creating state-run health insurance exchanges.
While Gallup reports that 56 percent of respondents said they prefer private health insurance coverage versus a government-run program, a CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday found that 52 percent of Americans said they favored the law's individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans not covered by public health insurance program to purchase a private insurance policy.
Low-income individuals and families will be eligible for federal subsidies on a sliding scale if they purchase coverage through a health insurance exchange.
About a quarter of Americans currently receive health insurance from a government program, according to a Nov. 11 Gallup poll. The percentage of Americans who receive employer-based coverage fell to 44.5 percent during the third quarter of this year, a figure that Gallup reports has been falling since the organization began tracking health insurance sources in 2008.