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Most Americans want critics of health care law to move on, poll finds

WASHINGTON — Most Americans now say they would like to see the critics of the health care law stop trying to block its implementation and move onto other national problems, a poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation on Monday found following last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the overhaul.

As was the case before the historic decision, public opinion on the law to expand health care to tens of millions of Americans remains about evenly split — with 47 percent in favor of the court’s ruling and 43 percent against. Not surprisingly, the split occurs along partisan lines.

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Eighty-three percent of Democrats say the law’s opponents need to move on to other issues, as do 51 percent of independents and 26 percent of Republicans — overall, 56 percent of Americans feel this way.

However, 69 percent of Republicans say they want to see efforts to stop the law continue, a sentiment shared by 41 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats.

As for people’s emotional responses to last Thursday’s ruling, nearly as many people reported feeling angry as enthusiastic. Not surprisingly, negative emotions are highest among Republicans who support the Tea Party movement, which favors smaller government and more consumer choice when it comes to health care.

Most voters, no matter their political affiliation, say the ruling will not impact whether they vote in November, though Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say it makes them more likely to head to the polls.

The Kaiser Foundation will release a second poll in coming weeks that examines Americans’ views of the nuances of the court’s decision, such as the use of the government’s taxing power as the basis for upholding the constitutionality of the requirement that most people obtain health insurance or face a financial penalty.

Tracy Jan can be reached at tjan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeTracyJan.
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