Americans Want Leaders To Cooperate, Make Health Law Work

Aug 11, 2017

Move on.

That’s what most people say Congress and the Trump administration should do after the Senate failed to approve legislation in July to  revamp the Affordable Care Act, according to a survey this month.

Nearly eight in 10 Americans say President Donald Trump should be trying to make the health law work, according to a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This includes large majorities of Democrats (95 percent) as well as half of Republicans (52 percent) and President Trump’s supporters (51 percent). (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Almost 6 in 10 people think the Republicans should work with Democrats to improve the health law.

Only 17 percent of the public — and 40 percent of Republicans — think the Trump administration should take steps to make the health law fail, the survey said.

Trump has threatened to end funding to insurers to cover cost-sharing subsidies that cover the out-of-pocket health expenses for millions of low-income people buying coverage on the Obamacare exchanges. Insurers say such a move would force them to leave the health law marketplaces or raise premiums. Nearly two-thirds of the public oppose the president’s negotiating tactics, the survey said.

Just 21 percent of respondents — but 49 percent of Republicans — want the GOP to continue working on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the survey said.

The GOP-controlled Senate failed to pass a health bill before it left for a summer break last week. The House in May passed a bill to partially repeal the law and drastically cut Medicaid.

About 60 percent of people says that Trump and congressional Republicans are responsible for any problems with the health law. Trump has said the public will blame Democrats for any problems.

The health law is more popular than ever with 52 percent of respondents saying they hold a favorable view of it.  There has been a 9-percentage-point increase in people who hold a favorable view since November.

Still, confusion about the law remains.

Even though only about 10 million people receive coverage through the marketplaces, about 60 percent of Americans believe that their family will be negatively affected by rising premiums in the marketplaces.

The same number of people say that insurers’ decisions not to sell insurance plans in certain marketplaces will affect everyone with insurance. Marketplace coverage affects only those buying individual insurance — not  those who get job-based plans or Medicare or Medicaid.

The poll of 1,211 adults was conducted Aug. 1- 6.The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.