Earlier this week, Penn Schoen Berland released a wide-ranging poll on American values commissioned by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. In light of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, it's worth revisiting a few of the poll's findings about health care.
First, let's look at how Americans feel about Obama's health-care law overall. Here's a chart from RealClearPolitics that aggregates multiple polls. As you can see, Americans have opposed the reform by a solid margin of at least 10 points for most of the last two and a half years:
But the Penn Schoen Berland poll makes a strong argument that the problem isn't the policy -- it's the way it has been sold. For example, seven out of 10 Americans think that the government ought to ensure that all Americans have health care -- a number that only barely lags access to food, the most basic necessity. That's a greater percentage that believe the government ought to guarantee basic education or a home:
What's more, that's a sentiment that has actually increased since Obama and Democrats started making their push for an overhaul of the nation's health system in 2009:
And if we drill down a little farther, we find that a majority of Americans not only think that the government ought to make sure everyone has health care on an abstract level, or even just through existing social safety-net programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Most Americans -- though by a smaller margin -- backed government intervention in the health-care system to lower costs and provide universal coverage: