Partisan reactions to Affordable Care Act

June 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM
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COLUMBIA, Mo., June 13 (UPI) -- Strong partisan reactions are likely regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court decides on the Affordable Care Act, a poll suggests.

The public, however, will be more disappointed if the court upholds healthcare reform than if the law is struck down, the University of Missouri Political Economics Research Lab said Wednesday.

Jeff Milyo, an economics professor at the university, said the Supreme Court's decision is likely to have serious repercussions on the presidential election.

A survey of 1,000 people last October found nearly 45 percent of respondents disapproved of healthcare reform and expected the court to strike at least part of the law. They would prefer the entire law be struck down, Milyo said. Democrats, the survey found, were much more favorable toward the law than Republicans.

"Our study noted that the odds on popular betting Web site Intrade suggest the court is likely to strike down at least part of the law," Milyo said. "In that event, proponents of healthcare reform will react strongly and probably attack the integrity of the court. It will be great political theater."

Milyo and colleague Lilliard Richardson found a stronger negative reaction will result if the court upholds healthcare reform.

"One lesson from the research is that opinions about controversial court decisions are less informative about the integrity of the court and more a reflection of prior beliefs about how the court should rule," Milyo said.

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