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Support for Obamacare Reaches Record, Putting Repeal-Minded Lawmakers In a Bind

| February 25, 2017

obamacare poll

Not yet. (Charles Fettinger)

Republican members of Congress are at home this week, with many of them getting an earful from anxious constituents about their plans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. A poll out Friday gives those lawmakers something to be anxious about, too.

The monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds overall support for the health law ticked up to 48 percent in February, the highest point since shortly after it passed in 2010. That was a 5-point increase since the last poll in December. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent project of the foundation.)

In addition, 6 in 10 people said they did not favor current GOP proposals for turning control of Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income residents, over to the states or changing the federal funding method. More than half said Medicaid is important to them or family members.

The increase in the law’s popularity is almost entirely due to a spike in support among independents, whose approval of the law has risen to 50 percent, compared with 39 percent unfavorable. Continuing a trend that dates to the passage of the law, the vast majority of Democrats approve of it (73 percent), while the vast majority of Republicans disapprove (74 percent).

Poll respondents are also concerned about the way Republicans say they will overhaul the measure. While they are almost evenly divided between wanting to see the law repealed (47 percent) or not repealed (48 percent), very few (18 percent) of those favoring repeal support the idea of working out replacement details later. More than half of the repeal supporters (28 percent of the sample) say the repeal and the ACA’s replacement should come simultaneously.

Interestingly, even among Republicans, fewer than a third (31 percent) favor an immediate repeal, while 48 percent support simultaneous repeal and replacement, and 16 percent don’t want the law repealed at all.

Simultaneous repeal and replacement, which is what President Donald Trump has promised, could prove difficult since Republicans have not agreed to a plan. They are using a special budget procedure, called reconciliation, that allows them to move legislation with only a simple majority in the Senate, but that bill is limited in what it can remove from the law and what can be added to it. Other bills would likely have to overcome a filibuster by Democrats in the Senate, which requires 60 votes. Republicans currently have a 52-48 majority in that chamber.

When asked about the Republican plans to overhaul the Medicaid program, nearly two-thirds of those polled prefer the current Medicaid program to either a “block grant” that gives states more flexibility but would limit Medicaid’s currently unlimited budget, or a “per capita cap,” which would also limit spending to states but would allow federal funding to rise with enrollment increases.

Respondents also strongly favor letting states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act continue to receive federal funding. The Supreme Court in 2012 made that expansion optional; 31 states (plus Washington, D.C.) adopted it. Eighty-four percent said letting the federal funds continue was very or somewhat important, including 69 percent of Republicans, and 80 percent of respondents in states that did not expand the program.

Republicans are counting on savings from capping Medicaid to pay for other health care options they are advocating.

The national telephone poll was conducted Feb. 13-19 with a sample of 1,160 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample.

–Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News

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19 Responses for “Support for Obamacare Reaches Record, Putting Repeal-Minded Lawmakers In a Bind”

  1. Richard Smith says:

    I totally agree with President Trump, this law MUST be repealed AND replaced simultaneously. If our law makers do anything other than what president Trump is requesting they will be cutting their own throats. In other words they won’t be re-elected to congress. People are totally fed up with do-nothing law makers. Do your job and get the work done. $hit or get off the pot.

  2. Sherry says:

    It’s so sad and down right scary when we find out that many people really LOVE their coverage through the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA). . . and, then those same people say they want ” Obamacare” repealed. They don’t even realize that the “Affordable Care Act” and “Obamacare” are just different names for the SAME PROGRAM! Talk about being “brainwashed”!

    Now that everyone is realizing what they will really loose if Obamacare is repealed. . . they are objecting. Be very careful what you ask for. . . you may be using that precious gun of yours to shoot yourself in the foot!

    We all benefit when we do our own research and become “educated” on the actual FACTS of the world around us. Do not just let any one media outlet tell you what to think and how to vote!!! If your legislative representative is NOT deciding and voting in your best interest. . . VOTE THEM OUT!!!

  3. Katie Semore says:

    Americans are famous for complaining about what the government does. It is their right and guaranteed to them in our Constitution. They love to complain about things, but when it looks like they may lose that which they complain about, then they complain about that. It is scary when you think you will lose that which you have even though you complain about having it. LOL Americans are funny that way! God bless us all!

  4. JasonB says:

    What we need to do is repeal and replace that buffoon in the Whitehouse.

  5. tulip says:

    Many many people are paying for Obamacare that can never use it because of the high deductibles, so they just pay in for nothing.

    So many are protesting because they want to keep Obamacare . Wouldn’t you think that they would have enough sense and maturity to wait and see what the new plan consists of before going off the deep end and ranting and raving? Who knows, it might even be better.

    It seems like everyone is protesting everything. Some are professional protestors and some aren’t. Simmer down folks til we see some proposals and facts.

  6. Knightwatch says:

    Republican lawmakers don’t care what’s good for people, or how much people want to keep their health insurance. They only care about being Republicans. Republican first. American second, or third.

  7. Knightwatch says:

    Hey, tulip, why are you buying into the Republican bullcrap about “paid” protesters? No one has ever proven they exist. Do you know any? I mean someone getting paid to protest against anything? I challenge you to name one.

  8. Outsider says:

    Well of course many favor the law; it is another form of welfare. Many receive “subsidies,” whereas the government pays virtually their entire premium. The expansion of Medicaid is also part of the law. The recipients of those benefits get free health care. The problem is the cost. People don’t seem to realize we are still running hundreds of billions of dollars in deficits while adding more welfare programs. It all comes down to a question of sustainability, and the spending is not sustainable. We print and borrow to pay off old debt and finance current deficits and continue to get more people hooked on the government dole. I have not heard one reasonable person explain how this is going to end well, therefore I have to assume it will not.

  9. Ws says:

    I liked the insurance I had before Obamacare was enacted. My insurance was cancelled due to Obamacare, but I guess nobody cares about that. Well too bad now because it’s time to get rid of the most disasterous program ever which is Obamacare! GO TRUMP! GO TRUMP! Please get rid of Obamacare quickly!

  10. Katie Semore says:

    W, if your insurance was cancelled it is because it was crap insurance and you were paying for crap and not getting good value for your dollar. Please tell us what you liked about it.

  11. Knightwatch says:

    Hey, Ws, you know your insurance was “cancelled” because it did not meet the new standards of the ACA like unlimited long-term care, you can’t be denied coverage, or dropped, because of a medical condition, you can shop for coverage through public exchanges, you have expanded medicare benefits, you can get subsidized insurance if you need help, and more. Besides, if your policy was older than 2010, you had a legal right to keep it.

    So, what’s your problem? Oh… you’re a Republican.

  12. Sherry says:

    Worried about the deficit??? Just Wait until our tax dollars are spent on the trump promise of building up the military and building a multi billion dollar wall to keep the boogey man out! I would rather my tax dollars be spent on people, NOT BOMBS!

    As long as the Republican Congress requires that our health care is controlled by FOR PROFIT insurance companies, we will continue to get gouged! Everyone knows something similar to “Medicare for All” would provide the best coverage, for the best price. . . Medicare is “NON-PROFIT”. . . and is not focused on Maximizing Profits for the owners or stock holders. . . because the owners are YOU! Guess who the insurance company lobbyists are calling right now!

  13. Ws says:

    Hey Knightwatch we had good insurance until Obamacare went into effect. You should educate yourself aboout how many people lost insurance before you start rattling stuff you apparently know nothing about. I liked my Dr too but couldn’t keep him like liar Obama told me. Millions lost insurance and now people are complaining that their insurance will be cancelled. Oh gee too bad buttercups! Pay for your own insurance and I will pay for mine!

  14. palmcoaster says:

    All the one’s here that are for repeal Obamacare like wise the GOP Congress and Senate sure they have a good healthcare insurance provided by their work, their wealthy status, or “all of us” the government and they do not give a rat’s butt about all the over 20 million people that do not have any of that and depend on Obamacare. Or are also ignorant elderly that have to live within a tight budget and forget that Obamacare also makes more affordable our prescriptions and doctors visits with Medicare. This is why the smart elderly along the young are in the town halls raising cane against their GOP Representatives that voted for repeal! I say keep up this battle.
    Not only 3 more million people voted against this administration within the popular vote, but maybe many of those that voted for them, now probably they find out their error made. At this point if they proceed with it I want also all those in Congress and Senate voting for repeal to be stripped from their government issued health insurance that we are all forced to pay for them and they denied to us!

  15. Dutch says:

    Of coarse the numbers are going up, it’s got to happen when in many cases you’re the only game in town.

  16. Duncan says:

    The only way the GOP is going to reduce the cost of health insurance is to reduce the plan benefits (of Obamacare) – it’s not rocket science folks!

    You have to ask, if big insurance is loosing money on Obamacare, then how are they making record profits in the hundreds of billions? It;s a shell game, they make their profits on Medicade/Medicare patients while (claiming) they loose money on Obamacare. Even if you believe the BS that they loose money on Obamacare, you have got to ask why should they be able to make big money on tax payer subsidized healthcare and ignore the employed who are paying for their healthcare (on there own or though their employer).

    It’s a total farce. The cure? More healthcare regulation – insurance companies must participate in Obamacare(and make it affordable) if they intend to profit off of Medicaid/Medicare.

    Obamacare should not be treated like an under performing division of a car manufacturer – “good bye Saturn” . Insurance companies, who have always benefited handsomely should be forced to play fair (it’s not always about money when lives are involved). They want the billions in profits from government subsidized healthcare, then they should be required by law to provide affordable healthcare for those that provide the tax revenues that fund subsidized healthcare. That’s not socialism, that just fair!

  17. Richard Smith says:

    That’s all we need, have BIG government force the insurance companies to supply affordable healthcare. That was Obama’s promise and how long did THAT promise last… long after he left the podium. The only way to reduce healthcare costs is to open up the market to ALL healthcare providers across the country and allow them to compete for each and every persons premiums. It’s called competition which drives down prices and drives up quality as people will not put up with lousy healthcare no matter who provides it. Eventually the market will balance out leaving those that provide the best healthcare for the best price and the rest of them will go out of business. Nothing wrong with GOOD competition. The other part of the picture is the drug companies. Now that is where regulation needs to be put in place with controls so that medicines are affordable especially for people taking maintenance drugs.

  18. Concerned College Student says:

    The Affordable Care Act may benefit some people, but when you are forced to have something you cannot afford and then penalized because you can’t, a line needs to be drawn. My lowest monthly payment is $275, with a $5000 dollar deductible. I pay for a car, rent, and school, and when I needed to go to the doctor before it only costed $85 to see them, once and done. Now I would have to pay $275, on top of the doctor, or pay the $700 dollar penalty a year. I think I’ll take the penalty. It seems dictative to be forced to have something you cannot afford in a “free” country.

  19. palmcoaster says:

    The so called “good competition is what we all had” until the ACA called Obamacare by GOP came to help over 20 million Americans. That was mine gold for the greedy insurance, pharmaceutical and hospitals totally out of control to gouge us all!
    No preventive care before ACA! In cases like I man I known in Palm Coast that for avoiding to go to the emergency room (for lack of $$ and health insurance) in time for a small abscess in his hip tissue to be treated, he waited too long and ended up loosing his extremity and part of his hip, something that endangered his life for two months of hospitalization and therapy that cost us all anyway hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep him alive and also the aftermath of paying for the rest of his life for his disability now. How smart is that right? Anyway cost us soo much more that if he had his Obamacare to treat him in time! Plus all Americans that die due to lack of preventive health care! But instead my tax dollars go to save other world democracies…? Please lets take care of ours first! And yes we need health care for all and also free colleges for all paid by the plenty taxes we contribute if those funds wont be used instead to fatten the wallets of the greedy as currently is done.

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