- As the Senate prepares to hold a vote on a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a majority of Americans say they have an unfavorable view of the plan (55 percent) while three in ten have a favorable view. In the past month, support for the replacement plan has decreased among Republicans (from 67 percent in May to 56 percent currently) and among supporters of President Trump (from 69 percent to 55 percent).
- Over the past year, Kaiser Health Tracking Polls have found a modest increase in support for the ACA and this month’s poll finds about half of the public (51 percent) expressing favorable views of the ACA while 41 percent hold an unfavorable view. This is the first month that favorability has tipped over the 50 percent mark since Kaiser Family Foundation began tracking attitudes on the law in 2010 and continues the trend found last month with the public more favorable towards the ACA than the replacement plan (51 percent vs. 30 percent).
- Large shares of the public overall, and majorities across parties, support the federal government’s role in prohibiting health insurance companies from charging individuals with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage and requiring health plans to cover a certain set of benefits, while fewer would want to turn these decisions over to the states.
- Few Americans, regardless of party identification, say repealing and replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act should be the “most important priority” for President Trump and Republicans in Congress (7 percent of Democrats, 9 percent of independents, and 8 percent of Republicans). Another two in ten (22 percent) say it is “very important but not the most important” priority. Republicans are much more likely to see repealing the ACA as a very important or top priority (50 percent) than Democrats (18 percent) or independents (28 percent).
- The majority of the public – regardless of partisanship – hold favorable views of Medicaid, the government health insurance and long-term care program for low-income adults and children. Three-fourths (74 percent) of the public say they have a favorable view of the program, including four in ten (37 percent) who have a “very favorable” view. In addition, six in ten say the program is working well for most low-income people nationally (61 percent) and seven in ten say the program is working well for most low-income people in their state (67 percent).
- When asked about proposed changes to the Medicaid program, a majority of the public support allowing states to impose work requirements on non-disabled adults (70 percent) or drug testing as a condition of enrollment (64 percent). However, fewer support changes that would cut funding or alter the funding structure. For example, about one-third support reducing funding for Medicaid expansion or limiting how much money each state gets from the federal government each year.
- The public is more likely to blame health insurance companies rather than the actions of the current or previous administration for insurers deciding not to sell insurance in certain ACA marketplaces. About four in ten (42 percent) say the problems are mainly due to profit-driven decisions by health insurance companies while fewer say the problems are due to either the way the law was designed by the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress (28 percent) or uncertainty brought on by the actions of President Trump and Republicans in Congress (22 percent).