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Americans are warming up to PPACA

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The fight over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in Washington is as fierce as ever, with a Republican budget plan that would repeal the health care law Democrats passed five years ago. In the rest of the country, opposition to the law appears to be easing.

The gap between favorable and unfavorable views of PPACA is the narrowest in more than two years, according to a poll released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The poll of 1,503 U.S. adults found 43 percent opposed to PPACA and 41 percent in favor. With a margin of sampling error of plus and minus 3 percentage points, the result was essentially an even split. Those in favor most often cited expanded access to insurance, while opponents cited cost.

Negative views of the law increased in the months after October 2013, when the sign-up website healthcare.gov and some state insurance marketplaces were crippled by technology failures. Now, the government reports that some 16.4 million Americans have gained insurance coverage under the law.

The future of the law is in the hands of the Supreme Court. The justices are considering whether to strike down the federal subsidies that make private health care plans affordable to millions of new enrollees, with a decision expected by summer. A majority of those polled by Kaiser thought a ruling against the subsidies would be harmful, a view shared by majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

About two-thirds of the poll’s respondents said they wanted Congress to come up with a way to preserve subsidies if the court rules against the the Obama administration. But their expectations for that are dim. Less than 20 percent said they were even “somewhat confident” that lawmakers in Washington could work together to find such a solution, and a majority said they were “not at all confident” Congress would fix the problem.  

See also: View: A Republican president would keep Obamacare