The people of Wyoming continue to disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare,” according to a recent University of Wyoming poll.

Every two years a poll has been conducted asking a variety of questions to Wyoming residents. This year, only 24 percent of those surveyed approved of the Affordable Car Act, which was enacted in 2010. About 70 percent disapproved of the act.

These numbers are very similar to past years. In 2010, 26 percent of Wyoming residents polled approved of the act. In 2012, only 24 percent approved.

Jim King, a political science professor at the University of Wyoming and co-director of the survey, says there is no relationship between a person’s opinion on the health care law and the quality of care available in a community. Instead, political ideology and general attitudes concerning the federal government influence opinion on health care reform. He says 94 percent of self-identified conservatives oppose the health care law while 61 percent of liberals approve. Within ideological groups, individuals with higher levels of trust in the federal government are more supportive than individuals with lower levels of trust.

King says Wyoming residents have a stronger disapproval than the country as a whole. While national polls indicate about 40 percent of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act, Wyoming’s approval falls well below.

“Our residents are more against the policy than the nation as a whole,” says King. “I would imagine, though, that we would reflect the distributions of opinion in other states that generally have conservative populations.”

Wyoming residents do favor one component of the Affordable Care Act, though: the expansion of Medicaid, the federal program that provides health care for people with low incomes. A majority of survey respondents, 55 percent, support expanding Medicaid while 36 percent oppose.

The statewide telephone survey of 768 Wyoming residents was conducted in October by UW’s Survey Research Center and was sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Wyoming Public Radio and the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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