A majority of American voters view the health care reform law as a tax hike, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday, suggesting that Republicans have a leg up in their effort to define the law's individual mandate as a "tax" rather than a "penalty."
The poll showed that 55 percent of Americans voters believe the health care law is in effect a tax hike, while 36 percent disagree.
The results of the survey come on the heels of last month's Supreme Court ruling that the law's requirement for individuals to obtain health insurance is constitutional under Congress' power of taxation.
Republicans have claimed that the ruling is proof that the law constitutes an increase in taxes on the middle class, while the Obama administration has tried to frame the fee as a penalty to be paid by the one percent of people driving up health care costs by not having insurance.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said, "President Barack Obama has worked mightily to avoid the 'T' word, but most American voters say the ACA is in effect a tax hike."
"The big question is whether the Republicans can sell the idea to voters that the president's Affordable Care Act breaks his promise not to raise taxes on those who make less than $250,000," he added. "That's why what voters believe on this issue matters."
The poll also showed that 49 percent of voters think Congress should try to repeal the health care law, while 43 percent think they should let it stand.
Additionally, the survey found that 55 percent of voters think a presidential candidate's position on health care is "extremely important" or "very important" to their vote.
While a majority said the Supreme Court decision on the health care law will not affect their vote, 27 percent said it will make them less likely to vote for Obama compared to 12 percent that said it will make them more likely to vote for him.
The survey of 2,722 registered voters was conducted July 1st through 8th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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