At least 46% of U.S. residents believe that the federal health reform law will have an adverse effect on the nation's economy, while about 37% think the law will help the economy, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday, the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports (Nicholas, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 7/5).
The poll was based on telephone surveys with a random sample of 1,061 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between July 2 and July 3 (Gallup poll survey, 7/5).
The poll also found a distinct partisan divide on the potential effects of the overhaul, with 78% of Republicans saying the law's effects will be negative and 62% of Democrats saying that they will be positive. Among independents, 47% of respondents said the health reform law will hurt the economy and 34% said it will help (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/5).
In an interview with American Public Media's "Marketplace Attitude Check," Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport said he believes the poll illustrates consumers' "knee-jerk reactions to liking or not liking the [health reform law]."
He added, "But the fact that Americans do tie [the law] into the economy is important because that could drive their perceptions of the [law] overall and of course, how they might vote" in the presidential election (Hobson, "Marketplace Attitude Check," American Public Media, 7/5).
Fewer Adults Have Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance, Second Gallup Poll Finds
A second Gallup poll, also released Thursday, found that the percentage of adults ages 26 to 64 who have health insurance through their employers dropped from 61.6% in 2008 to 55.9% in 2012, Politico reports.
Meanwhile, the percentage of young adults ages 18 to 25 who had employer-sponsored insurance during the same period remained constant at 31.9%, after experiencing a decline from 2008 to 2010. The poll also showed that young adults are less likely to be uninsured because of a provision in the reform law -- which took effect in 2010 -- that allows children to remain on their parents' health policies until age 26.
In addition, the poll found that reliance on government health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid increased to more than 25% of U.S. residents during the second quarter of 2012 (Mak, Politico, 7/5).