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As Health Care Law Trial Nears, 67% Say Ditch Individual Mandate

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. Supreme Court should throw out either the individual mandate in the federal health care law or the law in its entirety that requires nearly all Americans to have coverage, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The latest findings signal the depth of public disagreement with that element of the Affordable Care Act. The survey finds that Americans oppose the law overall by 52-41 percent.  Sixty-seven percent believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the portion.

The high court opens hearings on the law’s constitutionality a week from Monday.

The law has never earned majority support in ABC/Post polls, and this update, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds a strong sense its critics are dominating the debate. 

Seventy percent of Americans report hearing mainly negative things about the law lately; just 19 percent say the buzz has been positive.  Even among its supporters, 53 percent are hearing more negatives than positives.  Among opponents this soars to 88 percent.

Intensity of sentiment is more negative as well: Forty-one percent strongly oppose the law, while only a quarter strongly support it.

The Obama administration has long had difficulty convincing Americans of the benefits of the law.  In a January 2011 ABC/Post poll, for example, more people expected the law to increase rather than decrease the deficit (62-29 percent), hurt rather than help the economy (54-39 percent) and cut rather than create jobs (46-38 percent).

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