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February 24, 2017

As GOP aims to 'repeal and replace,' new poll shows rising support for ACA

Daily Briefing

The Affordable Care Act's (ACA) public approval rate has risen in the past month and support for repealing the law has fallen, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday.

According to Politico, the trend could complicate President Trump and Republican lawmakers' efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. The GOP has struggled to reach a consensus on both a timeline and a proposal to replace the law. For instance, big questions remain on how a final replacement plan would handle the ACA's Medicaid expansion and other provisions.

Poll details

For the poll, researchers surveyed 2,013 registered voters between Feb. 16 and Feb. 19. The researchers compared the poll findings to a similar Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted in January, before Trump took office.

The February poll found public approval for the law has increased since January: 45 percent of respondents approve of the law and 45 percent disapprove, up from January, when 41 percent of respondents said they approved of the ACA and 52 percent said they disapproved.

In addition, the February poll found that 51 percent of respondents said the ACA should be repealed in some form—a percentage that is down eight percentage points since January, the Times reports. The February poll found that 12 percent of respondents want the law left as is, and 26 percent of residents support expanding the existing law.

Of those who support some form of repeal, the February poll found:

  • 24 percent of respondents supported a total repeal; and
  • 27 percent supported a partial repeal.

Support for repeal also has dropped among Republicans, the Times reports. In the latest poll, 78 percent of Republican voters said they support a full or partial repeal of the ACA, down from 83 percent in January.

According to the February poll, 57 percent of respondents said they support repealing the law's individual mandate.

Additionally, more than 50 percent of respondents wanted to keep the law's provisions that:

  • Allow individuals younger than 26 to stay on their parents' health plans;
  • Bar insurers from denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions; and
  • Require businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health coverage.

Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer, said, "As the threat of the [ACA's] repeal has moved from notional to concrete, our weekly polling has shown an uptick in the law’s popularity, and fewer voters support repealing the law" (Howell, Washington Times, 2/22; Savransky, The Hill, 2/22; Shepard, Politico, 2/22; Reid, Morning Consult, 2/22; Morning Consult/Politico poll, accessed 2/23).

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