By Elise Viebeck - 06/06/13 01:48 PM EDT
President Obama's signature healthcare law is more unpopular than ever as officials prepare to implement its largest provisions, according to a new poll.
NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that 49 percent of people call the Affordable Care Act a bad idea, while about four in 10 say they will be worse off under the law.
Thirty-seven percent call the reform a good idea. A plurality, 39 percent, said the law won't make a difference to them, while 19 percent said it will leave them better off.
The share of people who say healthcare reform is a bad idea has also risen since last year, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law. In July 2012, 44 percent said the reform was a bad idea, while 40 percent said it was a good idea.
The next six months will be critical for the Obama administration as it struggles to meet several major deadlines, particularly the launch of the new health insurance exchanges.
Public support for the marketplaces will be crucial to their success, and federal health officials have promised major education campaigns over the summer encouraging people to enroll.
Previous surveys have suggested that the public is widely confused about the facts of healthcare reform, adding to the Obama administration's task.
An April poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about four in 10 were unsure if the Affordable Care Act remains on the books.
The new NBC/WSJ poll found deep divisions on the law correlating with political party and whether the individual has health insurance.
Democrats said the law would leave them better off by a margin of 35 percent to 11 percent. Republicans strongly said the opposite, 67 percent to 4 percent.
The law was also more popular among people without health coverage compared with the insured.