NPR logo Health Care Gets Positive Gallup Poll But...


Health Care Gets Positive Gallup Poll But...

There's been a lot of attention today on a USA Today/Gallup poll that shows the public showing a significant tilt towards the new health law.

The poll of 1,005 adults with a plus/minus of four percentage points has 49 percent of the respondents saying the legislation was a "good thing" and 40 percent saying it was a bad thing.

The overall positive feeling towards the legislation is clearly good news for Democrats. Much better for them that the legislation polled so well given how much antipathy has been directed at it for months.

Also, there's justifiable skepticism about what the legislation will actually do and the possibility of unintended consequences. So, again, that the positives would outweigh the negatives at this stage is a noteworthy finding.

But it's important to remember that it's still early. The complex legislation was just enacted today and it's so complex it will take time for Americans to really come to grips with what the new law does and doesn't do.

What's more, much of the legislation doesn't even take effect for years.

So while this poll is interesting, it's ephemera. Let's wait to see how it's polling at the end of October of this year. And October 2012. Those will be the more important numbers.