By Elise Viebeck - 08/01/14 12:01 AM EDT
Negative views of ObamaCare abruptly hit an all-time high this month, erasing six months of gradual increases in the law's popularity.
Fifty-three percent now see the Affordable Care Act in a negative light compared with 45 percent last month, according to a monthly tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The reform has struggled since its inception to gain traction with the public, with negative views outpacing positive ones since late 2012.
Supporters note that some people who oppose the law feel it did not go far enough.
Just 37 percent expressed a positive view of the reform in July, down two points from last month, according to the Kaiser poll.
Negative opinions most recently peaked at 50 percent in January, just as the law's rollout was beginning to improve after a disastrous start in October.
Prior to that, a previous record of 51 percent shared an unfavorable view of ObamaCare in October of 2011.
This month's eight-point increase in unfavorable opinions coincides with several news events that brought debate over the healthcare law back into headlines.
Just this week, House Republicans authorized a lawsuit against President Obama over his delay of the reform's employer mandate. GOP critics argue the move was an unconstitutional use of executive power.
The Supreme Court also dealt a blow to ObamaCare's birth control coverage mandate at the very end of June, ruling that some for-profit businesses can opt out of covering contraceptives on religious grounds.
At the same time, criticism of the healthcare law has quieted significantly on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail as a handful of consistently negative predictions about the reform fail to materialize.
Notably, insurers are not proposing extraordinary premium increases for next year on the exchanges despite some indications that they would do so.
The Kaiser Family Foundation noted that most people still want their lawmakers to improve ObamaCare (60 percent) rather than repeal and replace it with another law (35 percent).