N.C. Residents Sour on Health Reform, Poll Shows
Two years after the passage of a law that fundamentally restructures the nation's health care system, more North Carolinians remain sour about the law.
Many believe it will make the health care situation in the United States worse in the long run, according to the latest Elon University poll.
The poll, conducted April 22-25, 2012, surveyed 640 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.87 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general, with numbers that include both land lines and cellphones.
Forty-six percent of respondents believe it was a bad thing for Congress to pass the law, which has since been dubbed "Obamacare." Thirty-eight percent said it was a good thing, and 9 percent don't know how they feel.
Nearly the same percentage - 45 percent - believes that when all the provisions go into effect, the law will make the health care situation worse. Thirty-four percent said the law would make the situation better.
"The interesting thing about these results is that North Carolinians are evenly split on whether they think it is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that everyone has health care coverage," said John Robinson, director of communications for the Elon University poll. "That suggests that it is the Affordable Care Act itself that many of them object to, not the idea of coverage."
North Carolinians offered mixed messages about guns and gun control legislation. Forty-four percent of respondents believe gun control laws in the state should remain as they are now, while 33 percent said they should be made stricter, the poll found. Just 15 percent said gun control laws should be less strict.
However, on particular gun laws or potential laws, respondents indicated support for the expansion of gun rights or the use of deadly force if they feel threatened even if it is possible to retreat, known as a "stand your ground" law.
The poll found that 54 percent support "stand your ground" laws, while 38 percent were opposed. Sixty-seven percent agree with allowing gun owners to keep weapons locked in their cards while they are at work, while 28 percent disagree.
Residents disagreed with the expansion of rights for concealed-carry permit holders. The poll found that 40 percent support allowing people with concealed handgun permits to take their weapons into restaurants and parks, while 56 percent disagree.
"Our results indicate that North Carolinians don't want current gun control laws loosened, as may be considered in the General Assembly later this month," Robinson said. "But they also aren't anti-gun, given the results of the 'stand your ground' question."
The poll also found that 54 percent of residents oppose laws that make it illegal for all drivers to use a cellphone while driving, even when using a hands-free device, while 43 percent support them.
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