In their own words: Opinions for and against the health-care law

Respondents to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll were asked to answer an open-ended question about why they consider the new health care law to be a good or bad idea. They were not identified by name, only location and political affiliation. Here is a sample of their responses:

In opposition

"It’s not going to lower the cost of premiums. We’re going to get worse healthcare, and it’s going to increase the debt. There are death panels in there, and they’re going to decide whether people get treatment or not. Which means they’re going to ration health care and that’s not right. And they’re putting taxes on it. People with unions are going to get taxed. It’s going to increase taxes." – North Carolina female (leans Republican)

"I think with all the confusion, lots of confusion, people are probably going to have to pay more. And really, we don’t know enough about it yet. We don’t know, I don’t know personally how it’s going to affect me." – Ohio female (leans Republican)

"I think we’re too worried about helping people who don’t want to help themselves. Basically I think we’re too worried about welfare and people should just go out and get jobs. I think people, our country is too worried about taking care of people who don’t want to take care of themselves. I think our country is too worried about helping other countries. We’re the first to jump in and offer money that we don’t have. That seems kind of silly to me." – Indiana male (not strong Republican)

"From the things I hear about how the cost is going up and people cannot afford it. We are going to be paying for everyone else. Not very good. The fact that we really do not have a choice to elect it. Congress decided we are going to do it and I do not think that is fair. Because the people do not get to vote on it. If Congress decides what’s going to be what are we going to. Congress has their own plan. If they were on the same plan I would back it." – Delaware male (no party ID)

"Because nobody understands. Call any insurance company and ask them any question about the new healthcare law and they don’t understand. Even one better, they point you to a website. Now I am not exactly a genius but I can speak, read and write English, but about 30 percent of the country can’t do that and I can’t understand the law and I would also like to say how does a foreigner walk into a hospital emergency room with no money, no Social Security number, and can get treated for free, where if I were to walk in as a US citizen, paying my fair share of federal, state and local taxes, along with contributing to society, when I walk into the hospital, if I can’t pay they throw me out." – New Jersey male (strong Republican)

"I sell health insurance and I deal with these people every day and they are really upset. Some of them are going to lose their coverage, some of their premiums have gone up from 25 percent to 35 percent and some of them are not sure they will be covered as well as they have been. Well, I’m on Medicare and it’s gone up roughly 25 percent each year and the people I sell insurance to, theirs has gone up even more than that. I can’t even get close for some people because there are some insurance companies that are not doing business until after the first of October." – Illinois male (leans Republican)

"Because it’s a big federal program and it’s going to be too expensive and it’s not going to work the way people want it to work. It’s a big old mess." – New York male (Strong Republican)

"The very first thing is Nancy Pelosi said we would have to find out about it after we get it in as law. The expense is going to be enormous. As Sarah Palin said, there will be death committees. I’m 62 so I feel like I’ll be involved negatively by death committees. A lot of Congressmen and women who voted for it in Congress, left the year afterwards because they knew their own constituents would not vote for them but they did that anyway and I don’t understand. The unions in this country are for everything that Obama and the Democrats are, but they want to be exempted from the new healthcare law. Even the head of AFL-CIO. If it was a good idea, would he be doing that. I think not." – Tennessee male (strong Republican)

"Raises costs for everybody and limits choices. It was put together so crudely and nobody knew all the unintended consequences. Rather than paying for Obamacare, companies are only giving 30 hours a week or not at all." – Texas male (leans Republican)

"Because it’s just making more people dependent. It’s bankrupting our country, destroying the future of our young people, taking from the rich and giving to the poor, who aren’t willing to work for themselves. It’s going to cost everybody a lot more money, everyone who works for a living. – Texas female (strong Republican)

It’s a bad idea because we need to leave the health care system to the free market. I personally have seen my health care premiums go up by 200 dollars a month. I believe health care will be rationed. We will all be forced to be on government health care eventually, and the quality of health care will lessen -- Illinois female (independent)

In favor

"There’s always an emergency, I work in a hospital. I’m a hospital employee so I see a lot and you have to have insurance when you have an emergency. Just security for your family because basically you need insurance to go to a hospital, everybody has emergencies. Those are the reasons, health reasons, sports reason, kids, I think kids are the worst, someone’s always going to fall. Children are in sports, one in football and one in soccer so I see a lot of hospital trips. Basically family oriented health needs." – Florida male (strong Democrat)

My best friend does not have health coverage and he has cancer. He can’t get coverage because he makes too much money. He can’t get" coverage so he is going to die and nobody will help him. The new health care plan will help him, that’s huge for me. I have elderly parents, my mother is a senior citizen and health care does not help enough. The new plan will help them out. My son is 18, his insurance will end because he is not going to college. His insurance will last longer under the new plan. That’s pretty good." – Pennsylvania female (no party ID)

"Preexisting conditions are out. Can’t be dropped from coverage. Cobra, kids on coverage at a later age." – California male (independent)

"Because health care is a right. That is it. It is a social necessity and it will be healthy for businesses. I just think it is one of the human rights, like education. It will level the playing field in some ways, everyone will be covered and that is it. And it makes economic sense for all employees to have health care. I would like to see a single payer healthcare system. That is it mostly. Nothing." – New Jersey female (strong Democrat)

"Well, I mean it’s going to give people who didn’t have insurance. It’s going to eliminate the preexisting conditions. I don’t have children, but people who do have children will be able to stay on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26. In other words, they don’t have to go to school or to college without health care." – Minnesota male (strong Democrat)

"People by nature are greedy and need things to keep them in check. I believe that it is a good idea. The insurance companies need regulation so everyone has access. People who are sick can get the care that they need and that cost is balanced by healthy people who are covered. People should not need to file bankruptcy because they are sick." – New Hampshire female (strong Democrat)

"I think everybody should be insured. I think that the more people that are insured, the less expensive it will be for everyone. I just feel very strongly that everyone should have access to health care. I think that’s about it." – New York female (strong Democrat)

"I could go on and on about this. I know too many people who have lost their homes because of being denied health care with preexisting conditions, and I can’t keep going on about this. The more I talk about this, the more it makes me mad. I’m finished with this. I’m going to have to let you go." – Oregon female (leans Democrat)

"Because we have many people without insurance. I don’t know. That is it. I don’t think it will help me but I think it will help other people." – Georgia female (no party ID)

"Well I just think that everybody should have access to good health care and it’s a step towards that. I think that a lot of employers are cheating the system by not providing workers health care or enough hours to get them health care. I also like the no preexisting conditions, it pulls in the loopholes that tightens the way they provide health care and making the medical records digital." – Georgia male (leans Democrat)