Poll: Most want Supreme Court to overturn individual health care mandate

Artist's rendering shows Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. speaking in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, March 27, 2012, as the court continued hearings on President Obama's health care law. Justices, seated from left are, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Samuel Alito and Elana Kagan. AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren

Supreme Court hears arguments over health care overhaul law
Artist's rendering shows Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. speaking in front of the Supreme Court, March 27, 2012, as the court held hearings on President Obama's health care law.
AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren

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


Updated 10 a.m. ET

A new CBS News/New York Times poll reveals that nearly seven in ten Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn either all or President Obama's health care law or strike down just the individual mandate.

In the poll released on Thursday, 41 percent of those polled think Mr. Obama's health care law should be overturned completely by the Supreme Court, with another 27 percent of respondents saying they want the court to keep the law but overturn the mandate.

Nearly one-quarter - twenty-four percent - of respondents want the entire law upheld. The margin of error is three percentage points.

The percentage that wants to see the entire law abolished is up slightly since April, when 37 percent said they wanted the court to overturn the full law, 29 percent said only the mandate should be overturned and 23 percent wanted the whole law upheld.

As the Supreme Court decision on the health care law is expected this month, the new poll shows that Republicans are much more likely to want the entire law overturned than Democrats, with 67 percent wanting the law to be overturned compared to 20 percent of Democrats. While 42 percent of Democrats say they want the entire law to be upheld, 42 percent of Independent respondents say they want the Supreme Court to overturn the whole law. Tea Party supporters are especially likely to want the entire law to be overturned -- 70 percent support that.

While a plurality of Americans want the health care law to be overturned, a CBS News/ New York Times Poll conducted in March found some parts of the law are popular: 85 percent said insurance companies should cover people with pre-existing conditions and nearly seven in ten supported children under 26 staying on their parents' health plan. Still, the requirement that nearly all Americans obtain health insurance was less popular in that poll: 45 percent approved of that, while 51 percent disapproved.

Read the complete poll (PDF)


This poll was conducted by telephone from May 31-June 3, 2012 among 976 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.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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