Just hours away from the midnight enrollment deadline, support for the Affordable Care Act reached an all-time high. Barely.
According to an ABC news/Washington Post poll released Monday, 49% of those surveyed back the new health care law while 48% oppose it. The average number of support has hovered around 45%, with the previous high at 48% in November 2009 and the ultimate low at 39% in April 2012.
Researchers at Langer Research Associates conducted the random national sample of 1,017 adults by phone from March 26-30.
While the latest results show a positive uptick for the Obama administration, overall, Americans remain mostly remain split on the health care reform law.
The division also cuts along party lines: 76% of Democrats back ACA while the reverse is true for Republicans, of which only an estimated 20% support it. Though the poll suggests Obamacare, surprisingly, has been gaining some traction among conservatives; the vast majority remain opposed, but not as many. For instance, 81% opposed the law in November, while 61% oppose it now.
In November, Obamacare scored a 40-57% negative rating following the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov, the online federal insurance exchange.
As of noon Monday, the site had 1.2 million visitors, according to one official. But that crush of last-minute traffic created a new round of technical headaches for the glitch-prone website.
HealthCare.gov froze up twice Monday – the cut-off day to register for coverage in 2014 to avoid paying a tax penalty fee. Those who at least begin the enrollment process by midnight will be allowed an extension to complete it.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took these last-minute HealthCare.Gov visitors as a sign of the demand for affordable coverage, despite earlier problems with sign-ups.
“No one expected us to come back from the brink, but we have,” he told reporters. “We’re going to have a very strong number when this period ends.”
He said the Obama administration expects ACA enrollment numbers to be “significantly above 6 million” by the end of open enrollment.
Approximately 8.7 million went to the website within the past seven days and 2.9 million in the past weekend.