As the battle over the Obama administration's health care law is joined in Congress, most American voters are on the side of the measure's opponents, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.
When asked to imagine being a lawmaker in Washington and having to vote on whether to keep the new law or repeal it, 56 percent of voters say they would vote to repeal and 39 percent to keep the law in place. Representatives in the U.S. House took that vote Wednesday and voted 245-189 to repeal the law (or 56 percent to 44 percent).
A majority of Democrats would vote to keep the health care law (67 percent), while over half of independents (56 percent) and almost all Republicans (87 percent) would repeal it.
Few voters see an upside to the new law. Some 18 percent of voters think their family would be better off under the health care law. Compare that to 14 percent who thought the law would help their family a year ago (January 2010), and a high of 22 percent who thought so in September 2009.
Twice as many -- 36 percent -- think their family will be worse off under the law.
Yet the largest number of voters -- 40 percent -- doesn’t think the law will make much of a difference to their family one way or the other.
On the issue of how Congress should handle health care, over half would like to see the new law either repealed entirely (27 percent) or parts of the law repealed (34 percent). Another 20 percent want the health care law expanded.
About one voter in seven (14 percent) would leave the new law in its current form.
Views on what should happen to the new law have held fairly steady for the last few months, with anywhere from a 54-to -61 percent majority supporting repealing part or all of the law, and about a third wanting it implemented as is or expanded.
The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. of 900 randomly chosen registered voters from Jan. 18 to Jan. 19. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for the total sample.