There are some early signs that the Supreme Court finding the Affordable Care Act constitutional has modestly improved its image with the public. A new Reuter-Ipsos poll found that support for the law increased by five points following the favorable ruling.
Among registered voters in the poll, support for the law is now at 48 percent. This is a improvement from the 43 percent support the law received in their poll before the decision. Similarly, opposition to the law also dropped by five points, from 57 percent before the ruling to 52 percent now.
This is just one early poll, so it is too soon to know if the law’s popularity has actually improved some as a result of the Court’s decision or if this is just fluctuations from a single pollster. We need to wait for more polling to know for sure if the Court ruling really impacted the law’s popularity and whether this is just a temporary bump driven by the news.
It is easy, though, to picture how the Court officially declaring that law constitutional could cause at least a small subset of people’s opinion of the law to improve. It did refute one of the previous talking points against the ACA; that it is an unconstitutional expansion of federal power. Now the arguments against the law are only about it being bad policy, but no longer about it being unconstitutional bad policy.
That said even after the favorable ruling the law still has more people who oppose it than support it. The Court may have made it less unpopular, but it still isn’t popular. Which is why Democrats seem to be trying to move on from the issue quickly.