By Todd Beamon
Republicans are less likely to sign up for Obamacare than Democrats — and they would rather pay fines for not having healthcare coverage at all under the law, a new Gallup poll finds.
Only 38 percent of the Republicans told Gallup that they would sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act — but 58 percent said they had no problems with paying a fine for not having it.
That compared with 75 percent of Democrats who said they would sign up for Obamacare plans, and only 18 percent who said they would pay the fine that would be assessed by the Internal Revenue Service for not having healthcare.
Gallup surveyed 1,322 adults across the country who did not have health insurance March 1-26. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
"The sharp political divide in these views highlights a key challenge facing the Obama administration and other ACA proponents: that Americans view the legislation not on its merits or benefits to the individual, but rather through strictly political lenses," the organization said in its analysis.
The Obamacare open-enrollment period ends on Monday, even though the White House has extended the deadline to mid-April for those who will not be able to sign up for coverage by then using the glitch-ridden HealthCare.gov website.
The Obama administration this week touted the fact that more than 6 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans under the healthcare law after a surge in enrollments just before the Monday deadline.
Republicans immediately slammed the announcement as continued evidence for scrapping Obamacare.
"They seem to have forgotten that the bar had to be lowered to this level because they completely humiliated themselves for weeks," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. "But given how bad things are for the White House these days, I guess meeting the lowest of low expectations is now worthy of celebration."
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