Although opposition to health reform rose in January, as Republicans pressed for repeal, a groundswell of support to overturn the Affordable Care Act failed to develop, according to a new survey by researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Many provisions of the law remain popular across party lines, and most Americans oppose the idea of lawmakers using the appropriations process to cut off funding or stall the law's implementation, researchers said. The survey, conducted in the weeks before the House repeal vote, also showed little public consensus on how to cut the federal deficit.
Results from the survey
Half of Americans reported unfavorable views of the Affordable Care Act in January, up from 41 percent in December. However, the share holding favorable views remained at 41 percent. Increased opposition among the Independent Party drove much of the change. Fifty-seven percent of Independents had an unfavorable view of the law in January, up from 41 percent in December.
Among all respondents, about 28 percent want to expand the law, and 19 percent want to keep it as it is. On the other side of the spectrum, 23 percent want to repeal and replace the law, and 20 percent simply want to repeal it. Meanwhile, 62 percent disapprove of the strategy to defund or delay the law through the appropriations process or other means.
Some provisions from the Affordable Care Act remain popular
Popular provisions of the law and their level of support among survey respondents include:
- Closing the coverage gap known as the Medicare doughnut hole, 85 percent
- Subsidies for low- and moderate-income Americans to buy health insurance, 79 percent
- Establishing a voluntary insurance program known as the CLASS Act to help pay for long-term care services, 76 percent
- Expanding the Medicaid program, 67 percent.
The individual mandate, which requires almost everyone to obtain health insurance coverage or face a tax penalty, was one of the most unpopular provisions and was opposed by 76 percent of survey respondents. However, once told that without the individual mandate insurance companies would still be allowed to deny coverage to people who are sick, unfavorable views fell from 76 percent to 47 percent.