New Jersey Voters Support Federal Health Care Law, Poll Shows

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STATE — A clear majority of New Jersey voters support the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new WNYC/Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Nearly 6-in-10 registered voters in the Garden State say the Supreme Court was right to uphold the law, while 37 percent wanted it struck down. This represents a significant increase in support, compared to the 47 percent who supported the law in a March, 2010 Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

“New Jerseyans are for the most part supportive of the affordable health care act,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “While not all that supportive of government making health insurance decisions, they are still quite happy with the prospects of keeping children on parents’ policies and not being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.”

Given a choice between changing Medicare to a system providing fixed payments to seniors who would then buy their own insurance or maintaining the current system, more than two-thirds would stick with Medicare as it is. Only one-quarter supports changing the system to allow purchasing insurance on the market.

The ACA’s provision expanding Medicaid is popular in New Jersey, even though the state has not yet decided whether to participate in the expansion. Just over one-third opposes expanding Medicaid eligibility, while 57 percent support extending its coverage to more low income residents.

Results are from a poll of 790 registered voters conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from Sep 27-30. The sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. Questions on health care issues were developed in consultation with The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC radio, and were sponsored by WNYC.

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