POLL: Obamacare favorability nears record propelled by independents

iStock/Thinkstock(MENLO PARK, Calif.) — A new poll gauging the public's feelings on the ongoing battle over healthcare finds continued displeasure with the current policy direction, but near record positive impressions of the Affordable Care Act.

The tracking poll, conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, finds 48 percent of its respondents had a very or somewhat favorable view of the legislation, commonly known as Obamacare, the highest level since September 2010, when 49 percent of those viewed it favorably.

President Obama signed the measure into law earlier that year.

The Affordable Care Act's popularity in the poll was boosted by independents. Some 50 percent of that group answered that they view the legislation as very or somewhat favorable.

At the same time, 62 percent of those polled say that the country is headed down the wrong track when it comes to health care. On whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the poll is nearly split with 48 percent of respondents saying no and 47 percent saying yes.

Of the 47 percent who believe the law should be repealed, a majority — 59 percent — think that lawmakers should wait to vote on it "until the details of [a] replacement plan have been announced." Just 38 percent of the repeal group wants an immediate vote.

With regard to Medicare, 90 percent of the group polled wants to keep funding at similar levels or increase spending on the insurance plan for seniors, with just 8 percent in favor of decreasing spending. For Medicaid, the health program for low-income Americans, 84 percent favor stable or higher levels of funding, with 12 percent looking for a decrease.

Those polled were overwhelmingly covered by some form of health insurance, by a 85-15 percent margin. The largest subsection of respondents who receive coverage — 39 percent — do so through their employer, with a spouse's employer finishing in second at 11 percent.

Of those who purchase their own coverage — 8 percent of those surveyed — fewer than half, or three percent of the total, did so through healthcare.gov or a state marketplace.

The poll was conducted of 1,160 adults over the age of 18 and had a margin of error of 3 percent.

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