Here’s some good news for Republicans pushing to defund Obamacare: A majority of the public still dislikes it and remains confused by it -- but is unsure what lawmakers should do about it.

At least that’s what pollsters at the Pew Research Center and USA Today found after a survey of 1,506 people conducted between Sept. 4 and Sept. 8. The results are that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care law commonly called Obamacare, while 42 percent approve.

These numbers come just weeks before the exchanges that are an integral part of the law's implementation begin operating on Oct. 1.


And, while Republicans in both the Senate and the House are divided about whether to try again to do away with the law or to delay the law’s implementation, Americans who disapprove of Obamacare disagree about what they want politicians to do about it.  According to the Pew Research-USA Today poll, 27 percent of those who disapprove think lawmakers should do what they can to make the law work as well as possible, while another 23 percent urge lawmakers to do what they can to make it fail.

Since the enactment of the law in 2010, the number who say they lack a good understanding of it has dropped from 44 percent to 34 percent, Pew found. Still, only 25 percent of Americans say they understand very well Obamacare’s effect on them and their families. Another 39 percent understand its effects somewhat well while 34 percent understand very little or nothing of the impact.

Much of the public (69 percent) is aware that the law requires insurance for the uninsured, according to the survey. Still 63 percent responded that they’ve yet to see much of the law’s impact on themselves or their families, but 41 percent think that there are negative effects awaiting in the coming years. Only 25 percent think some positive effects will come later.