MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Most Americans favor the Affordable Care Act or want it strengthened but nearly half say the government is doing poorly in implementing it, a poll indicates.
The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Friday found 38 percent of those asked said they favor the ACA while 44 percent have an unfavorable view of the law -- a figure that includes those who say the healthcare reform law should be made stronger.
"A solid majority of the public (60 percent) say they oppose the idea of cutting off funding as a way to stop the law from being implemented, and a higher share would like to see Congress expand the law or keep it as is (47 percent) rather than repeal it (37 percent)," Kaiser said in reporting the results of the survey.
Nearly half, 48 percent, gave poor marks to the federal government's implementation of the ACA, while giving slightly better grades to their own state governments.
The share of the public that says they know enough about the law to know how it affects them was 55 percent -- up 8 percentage points since the last survey.
A solid majority, 64 percent, said they have not been personally affected by the ACA. Among those who say they have been personally affected, 23 percent say the new law has affected them negatively while 14 percent say it has benefited them.
The poll found 44 percent of Americans paid more attention to news of the federal government shutdown and the fight on Capitol Hill over raising the federal borrowing limit, than to the rollout of the ACA and the failure of the healthcare.gov website to work as expected. Twenty-two percent said they followed the website rollout more closely than the shutdown or the debt limit.
The poll measured a distinct partisan difference in how Americans view the ACA, with about 70 percent of Democrats favoring it and nearly 80 percent of Republicans against it.
The telephone survey of 1,513 adults ages 18 and older in all 50 states was conducted Oct. 17-23. It had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.