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Poll finds opposition to health law eases

WASHINGTON – A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds raw feelings over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul have subsided.

Ahead of a vote on repeal in the GOP-led House this week, strong opposition to the law stands at 30 percent, close to the lowest level registered in AP-GfK surveys dating to September 2009.

The nation is divided over the law, but the strength and intensity of the opposition appear diminished. The law expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured, and would require, for the first time, that most people in the United States carry health insurance.

The poll finds that 40 percent of those surveyed said they support the law, while 41 percent oppose it. Just after the November congressional elections, opposition stood at 47 percent and support was 38 percent.

As for repeal, only about 1 in 4 say they want to do away with the law completely. Among Republicans, support for repeal has dropped sharply, from 61 percent after the elections to 49 percent now.

Also, 43 percent say they want the law changed so it does more to re-engineer the health care system. Fewer than 1 in 5 say it should be left as it is.

Opposition to the law remains strongest among Republicans: Seventy-one percent say they’re against it, compared with 35 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats.

One of the major Republican criticisms of the law found wide acceptance, however: Nearly 6 in 10 oppose the law’s requirement that people carry health insurance except in cases of financial hardship.


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