Despite the reelection this month of a president whose primary legislative achievement has been the enactment of a national healthcare program, a majority of Americans now believe it is not the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, according to a new Gallup poll. As reported on the Gallup Politics website, the latest survey is the first since Gallup Trends began asking the question in 2000 that shows a smaller percentage of respondents in favor of the federal government assuring healthcare for all than are opposed to Washington assuming that role. The random telephone poll of 1,015 adults, ages 18 and over in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, was conducted November 15-18, just nine to 12 days after Americans went to the polls and reelected President Obama, who pushed through Congress and signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, a measure designed to ensure that nearly all Americans have healthcare insurance. The legislation is so closely identified with the president that most people know the law by its informal title, ObamaCare.
Whether voters preferred the incumbent to his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, because of or in spite of the president's top legislative achievement is not clear from the Gallup survey, however. For even as a solid majority registered their opposition in principle to the federal role in guaranteeing coverage for all, a slender majority (48 to 45 percent) was in favor of the Affordable Care Act. That may be one reason why Romney, who promised to begin the project of repealing the law on "Day One" of his presidency, did not win over a majority of the voters.
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