Poll: Majority disapprove of defunding health reform

A majority of Americans would disapprove of efforts by Congress to defund healthcare reform, a new poll found Wednesday.

Despite figures suggesting that most U.S. adults disapprove of President Obama's signature healthcare reform law, respondents to a new CBS News poll expressed opposition to defunding it, as Republicans in Congress have said they'll pursue.

Fifty-five percent of US. adults said they would disapprove if Congress stopped funding for the new healthcare law, while 35 percent said they would approve. Ten percent said they did not know.

The poll suggests that voters might react negatively to the continued efforts by Republicans in Congress to defund healthcare reform, absent the political ability to repeal it.

A slight majority — 51 percent — of the respondents in the CBS poll said they either somewhat or strongly disapprove of the law; 33 percent approve.

Polls have shown mixed opinions about repealing the law, too. The most regular tracker of opinion about repealing healthcare, the Kaiser Family Foundation's healthcare poll, found in January that 43 percent of adults support repeal, while 47 percent support keeping the law as it is, or even expanding it.

Those polls present a tricky balancing act for Republican leaders in Congress, who have vowed to work consistently to repeal or undo the new healthcare law, and face tremendous pressure from conservatives in their own party to follow through on their rhetoric. Already, the House has voted to repeal and replace the legislation, though that effort stalled in the Senate. They have said they would offer up votes to defund the legislation, too, though those measures could face a similar fate in the upper chamber.

The CBS poll, conducted Feb. 11-14, has a 3 percent margin of error.