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Public’s PPACA positions harden

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Americans are about as warm or cold toward the “health care law” now as they were in mid-October.

Art Swift, an analyst at Gallup, posted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act opinion numbers in a summary of results from a telephone survey of 1,017 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday.

Swift also included data from similar Gallup PPACA surveys conducted in mid-October this year and in mid-January in 2011.

Survey workers asked participants, “What would you like to see Congress do with the health care law?”

Swift found that 52 percent would like to see Congress repeal the law or scale it back, and 37 percent said they would like to see Congress expand the law or keep it as is.

Eleven percent had no opinion.

The numbers are similar to the ones that came out of the two earlier surveys.

In mid-October, 50 percent of the participants said they wanted Congress to repeal the law or scale it back, and 38 percent said they wanted to Congress to expand the law or keep it as is. Thirteen percent had no opinion.

Two years ago, 57 percent called for repealing or pruning the law, and 37 percent call for maintaining or expanding it. At that point, only 7 percent had no opinion.

Although the levels of support for the law and opposition to it held steady since October, the gap between Democrats and Republicans may have expanded: Swift writes in a commentary on the data that Democrats are now much more likely to want Congress to expand the law, while Republicans are somewhat more likely to back repeal.

Independents are less likely to favor repeal than they were in October and more likely to want Congress to change or expand PPACA.

Given how steady Americans’ positions have been, “it is unclear whether they will budge in the months to come,” Swift writes.

The margin of error for the surveys is 4 percentage points.

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