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Health Care Law Upheld by Supreme Court

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

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In NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of 1,000 adults conducted June 20-24, 37 percent said they would be pleased if the law was overturned by the court, while 22 percent said they would be disappointed with that outcome. In contrast, 28 percent said they would be pleased if the justices found the law constitutional, while 35 percent said they would be disappointed with such a ruling.

Overall, 35 percent of respondents think the health care overhaul is a good idea, compared with 41 percent who believe it’s a bad idea. The split has been more or less the same since the law was enacted.

The law was designed to reshape the medical system by expanding coverage to as many as 32 million uninsured people. It calls for the establishment in 2014 of regulated marketplaces called exchanges, where individuals and small businesses could buy coverage. It also provides tax credits for part of the cost of premiums for low-income households.

The statute establishes new advisory bodies to help rein in health care spending. One, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, was charged with drafting legislative proposals to slow the rise in Medicare spending but became a lightning rod for critics, who said it was a back-door attempt to ration care and limit patient choice.

The law also contains revenue-raisers, including an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans offered by employers, a new 2.3 percent tax on medical devices and fees on drug companies and health insurers.

The costs of implementing the law kept the health care debate alive long after the measure was enacted. Earlier this year, Congressional Republicans questioned why White House spending estimates for subsidies for low-income and working-class families would total $478 billion through 2021, $111 billion higher than a year earlier.

The administration said most of the difference was due to changes Congress made to the law since it was signed.

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