Poll: 47% disapprove of Obama health care law

US President Barack Obama speaks during meetings in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 8, 2012, with President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

As the Supreme Court embarks on three days of historic arguments over President Obama's health care law - two years after the law was enacted - Americans remain skeptical about the legislation.

A CBS News/New York Times poll shows 47 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's Affordable Care Act, including 30 percent who strongly disapprove. In the poll, conducted March 21-25, only 36 percent of those questioned said they support the law either somewhat or strongly.

As CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford reports, it is a case that has divided the American public, and lower courts, and the final word could now rest with the Supreme Court.

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Since the health care law was passed in March 2010, more have disapproved than approved of it. The highest level of support was reached in May 2010 when 43 percent of Americans approved of the law; its lowest level was just after it was passed in March 2010, when only 32 percent supported it.

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Opinions of the health care law break down largely along party lines. Most Republicans disapprove of it, including six in 10 who disapprove strongly, while most Democrats approve. Among independents, just under half are opposed to the law. A majority of Tea Party supporters also disapprove.

There are differences when the results are broken down by age, as well. Americans under age 30 are the most likely of any age group to approve of the law. Among those who are older, more disapprove of the law than approve of it.

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Read the complete poll (PDF)


This poll was conducted by telephone from March 21-25, 2012 among 986 adults nationwide. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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