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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — November 2010

The November 2010 tracking poll was conducted in the days following the mid-term election that resulted in major gains for Republicans, including a shift in control of the House of Representatives. The survey attempts to gauge what role health reform played in voters’ decisions, and to measure the current public mood about the health reform law.

The poll finds that voters say health care reform was a factor that influenced their vote, but not a dominant one. The economy/jobs was the factor mentioned by voters most often (29%), followed by party preference (25%) and views of the candidates themselves (21%). Health care ranked fourth at 17 percent. Those 17 percent of voters who named health care as one of their top voting factors were more likely than non-health care voters to back a Republican candidate for Congress (59% vs. 44%), and to say they have a “very unfavorable” view of the law (56% vs. 33%).

Looking ahead, Americans remain divided about what lawmakers should do, with 21 percent of the public favoring expansion of the health reform law, 19 percent wanting to leave it as is, a quarter wanting to repeal parts of the law, and 24 percent wanting the entire law repealed. Among mid-term voters, a majority (56%) would like to see the law repealed entirely or in part. Voters split sharply along partisan lines. Two-thirds of those who voted for Democratic candidates want the law expanded or left as is, while eight in 10 of those who voted Republican support full or partial repeal.

Several key provisions of health reform remain popular, even among those who support repeal of all or parts of the law. Majorities of supporters of repeal would like to keep tax credits for small businesses offering coverage; the prohibition on insurance companies denying coverage based on medical history or health condition; the gradual closing of the Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole”; and financial subsidies to help low and moderate income Americans purchase coverage. By contrast, two-thirds of the general public support repealing the individual mandate, another key provision in the law.

The November poll is the latest in a series designed and analyzed by the Foundation’s public opinion research team.

Findings (.pdf)

Chartpack (.pdf)

Toplines (.pdf)