Polls point to deep divide in views of Affordable Care Act

While the public at large appears to have negative views of the Affordable Care Act, an increasing number of Democrats want to expand the ACA, reflecting a widening divide between the law's supporters and opponents, according to two new opinion polls.

One poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center, finds that 44 percent of Americans approve of the ACA, while 54 percent disapprove. That has shifted from last summer--amid the King v. Burwell decision that upheld a key provision of the law--when near-equal shares approved and disapproved.

Still, Pew notes, opinion of the healthcare reform law's impact has grown less negative over the last three years. Democrats also increasingly say the ACA has had a positive effect on the country, the poll results show--yet only 10 percent of Republicans say the law has had a positive effect on the country, a figure that has changed little since 2013.

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, meanwhile, finds that about half of Democrats want Congress to expand the ACA's scope--a trend that Kaiser attributes to the "rhetoric surrounding universal healthcare in the Democratic presidential campaign."

On the other hand, 32 percent would like to see Congress repeal the law. Of those who support a repeal, 12 percent want a Republican-sponsored alternative, while another 12 percent don't want a replacement at all.

Among all respondents to the monthly Kaiser poll, 38 percent said they have a favorable view of the ACA, compared to 49 percent who oppose it.

To learn more:
- here's the Pew Research Center poll
- check out the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll

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