POLITICS
03/16/2017 11:17 am ET Updated Mar 17, 2017

Latest Polls Show Broad Opposition To GOP's Obamacare Replacement

Nearly half expect the new health care plan to decrease coverage and increase costs, one survey finds.

Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act have been met with a largely frosty reception by the public, according to the latest polling released this week.

A Fox News poll published Wednesday night finds that just 34 percent of registered voters support the GOP’s health care plan, with 54 percent in opposition ― 36 percent oppose because it makes too many changes to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and 11 percent because it makes too few.

SurveyMonkey poll shows similar reactions, with most Americans opposed to the Republican bill, 55 percent to 42 percent. The poll finds more intense opposition than support, with just 18 percent saying they strongly support the bill, while 38 percent say that they’re strongly opposed to it. The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, meanwhile, puts opposition at 49 percent, with just 24 percent approving.

A fourth poll from Morning Consult and Politico, released Wednesday, finds considerably more positive views of the bill, with 46 percent of voters approving and 35 percent disapproving. While 27 percent don’t think the bill goes far enough in changing the health system, according to the survey, 24 percent think it goes too far, and 17 percent that it goes far enough.

Perhaps relevantly, the Morning Consult and Politico poll was also the only survey not to explicitly identify the bill as being a Republican proposal. The poll also found respondents were generally more positive toward President Donald Trump than in most other surveys.

Huffington Post

Two other recent surveys didn’t ask directly about overall support for the bill, but provide some additional context on how it’s seen by the public.

About a third of Americans expect the bill, if passed, would be worse than the current health care law, according to a HuffPost/YouGov survey released Sunday, with 27 percent expecting it to be better and 13 percent saying it wouldn’t make much of a change. The poll also found many Americans aware of the GOP’s intraparty fractures on the proposal, with just 11 percent believing Republicans in Congress were united in support of it.

A tracking survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation released Wednesday breaks down expectations further, finding that about half, 48 percent, expects the replacement plan to decrease the number of people with health insurance and to increase costs for people who buy their own insurance. A smaller 41 percent plurality expect the replacement to lead to higher deductibles, while 45 percent say the new plan would leave protections for people with pre-existing conditions about the same.

Kaiser Family Foundation

The KFF poll also finds some misconceptions about how the plan would affect specific groups. “Compared with current law, lower-income individuals, older adults, and those living in rural areas would pay more for insurance on average under the replacement plan, while younger adults, those with higher incomes, and those living in urban areas would pay less,” the authors write. “However, the public does not see a distinction in how the replacement plan would impact costs for these different groups of individuals, except when it comes to income.”

Most of the surveys find significant splits across party lines. In the Fox survey, for instance, 89 percent of Republican voters, but just 7 percent of Democratic voters, support the plan; in SurveyMonkey’s poll, those numbers are 84 percent and 10 percent, respectively, while Morning Consult and Politico find a relatively modest 65 percent to 30 percent split.

Democrats are 46 percentage points likelier than Republicans to believe the new plan would decrease the number of people with health insurance, according to the KFF poll, 52 points likelier to think the plan would increase costs for people who buy their own insurance, and 44 points likelier to expect higher deductibles.

The debate over the new proposal comes against a backdrop of rising popularity for law currently in place. Americans favor the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act by an average 5-point margin, according to HufffPost Pollster’s aggregate, up from a negative score as recently as last October.

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