Poll Shows Majority of Americans Want Health Care Law Overturned

Alexandra Jaffe

A new poll released on Thursday deals yet another blow to Obama's centerpiece legislation, revealing that a majority of those polled want the Supreme Court to overturn the entire health care law passed in 2010.

The poll, conducted by the New York Times and CBS News, reveals that more respondents disapprove of the law than approve, 48 percent to 34 percent. That marks only a one-percentage-point uptick in those who disapprove of the law since the last poll was conducted, in mid-April, but a five-percentage-point drop in those who approve.

Forty-one percent of respondents want the law thrown out entirely by the Supreme Court – a four-point rise since the last poll was conducted. Those for the law were split over what they'd like to see happen to it, with 24 percent saying they want the whole thing upheld and 27 percent hoping for the Court to overturn the individual mandate but keep the rest of the law. 

After hearing arguments on the law in March, a ruling is expected from the Court sometime this month.  

The public is skeptical, however, of the independence of the Supreme Court, with over half of respondents saying they believe the justices will decide the case based on their personal or political views. Still, a majority of both parties approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing, with Democrats slightly more in favor of the Court's job.

Another poll released on Thursday by Fox News aligns with the findings of the CBS/NYT poll on health care. Fox found that a majority of respondents, 52 percent, believe the Obama administration mostly failed at improving health care. However, that same poll gives Obama a slight lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney with handling health care, with 43 percent of respondents saying they trust Obama and 40 percent saying they trust Romney.

The CBS/NYT poll also found that over three-fourths of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing, with only 15 percent approving.

CBS and the New York Times also asked respondents about the Arizona immigration law, SB 1070, which is currently under review by the Supreme Court as well. The law has been criticized by immigration activists as being too strict and far-reaching, but a majority of Americans said they believe the law is "about right," with 33 percent saying it goes too far and 11 percent saying it doesn't go far enough.

A majority of respondents believe both the federal and state governments should have a say in immigration laws, and a plurality of those polled, 41 percent, say illegal immigrants now in the U.S. should be able to stay and apply for citizenship. More respondents – 31 percent – said illegal immigrants in the U.S. should leave the country than the 21 percent who believe immigrants should stay as guest workers.

The CBS/NYT poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points and was conducted among 976 adults nationwide from May 31-June 3. The Fox News poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points as well and was conducted via live telephone interviews from June 3-5 among 907 registered voters.