Published July 12, 2012
By a wide margin, American voters say the federal health care overhaul is a tax increase, according to a national poll released Thursday.
The Quinnipiac University poll was released a day after the House of Representatives voted to repeal the law in the wake of the Supreme Court decision upholding it. Five Democrats defected and voted for the bill, no doubt leery of backing a law that Republicans have increasingly tried to describe as a tax increase.
In the latest poll, 55 percent of registered voters said they consider the law indeed to be a tax increase, while 36 percent said otherwise.
Claims that the law is a tax hike are fueled by last month's court ruling, which upheld the individual mandate on the basis that the fine attached to the requirement to buy health insurance is only constitutional under Congress' power to tax.
The Quinnipiac poll, though, did not specifically ask participants about the mandate fine -- so the results could reflect other taxes in the law not related to the mandate.
In a peculiar finding, the poll also showed that by 48-45 percent, Americans agree with the court decision -- yet by 49-43 percent, they also want Congress to repeal it.
Following a separate court case that struck down much of Arizona's immigration law, the poll also showed voters, by 61-34 percent, want an Arizona-style law in their state. The law compels local law enforcement to conduct immigration checks on those they suspect of being in the country illegally during routine stops -- the court upheld that provision, but gutted other key parts of the law.
The Quinnipiac poll of 2,722 registered voters was taken July 1-8. It had a 1.9 percentage point margin of error.