Support for healthcare reform grows as government shutdown drags on

Public support for the Affordable Care Act is growing as Americans increasingly blame Republicans for the partial government shutdown, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found.

In the survey taken Oct. 7-9, only a few days after the glitch-ridden launch of the ACA's health insurance marketplaces, 38 percent of respondents said the healthcare law is a good idea, up from 31 percent a month earlier, NBC News said in reporting the findings.

Approval of the healthcare law has been up and down, reported The Hill's Blog Briefing Room. The newest rankings were the third highest for the healthcare law; approval peaked at 40 percent in July 2012.

The number of respondents calling healthcare reform a "bad idea" fell by 1 percentage point, from 44 percent to 43 percent.

Half of the respondents said they totally opposed eliminating funding for the law, even if that resulted in a partial governmental shutdown, NBC News reported. That's up from 46 percent in September.

The poll found approval of Republicans at only 24 percent, with a 53 percent "unfavorable" rating, as the majority of the public blames the GOP for the shutdown, according to The Hill. It was the lowest approval rating for Republicans in the history of the poll.

President Barack Obama's approval rating increased 2 percentage points since the September poll. Approval of the Democrats slipped 3 percentage points to 39 percent, NBC News noted.

The federal government so far has declined to release the number of people who have signed up for health insurance through federally run exchanges, catching the ire of Republican lawmakers who are insisting the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services release enrollment data.

Meanwhile, several states running their own exchanges said tens of thousands of people already have enrolled. About 40,000 signed up for insurance in New York, officials there said, while 27,000 were at least partway through the application process in California.

For more information:
- download the poll results (.pdf)
- here's the NBC News article
- read The Hill's Blog Briefing Room post