News Release

Poll: Public Views the ACA More Favorably Than Congress’ Plan to Replace It, Though Republicans Favor the Replacement

Majority Says the Senate Either Should Make Major Changes or Not Pass The House Bill At All, While About a Third Want the Senate to Pass It As Is or With Only Minor Changes

Public Grows More Pessimistic About How Repeal Will Affect Them Personally

Most (55%) of the public holds an unfavorable view of the Congressional plan that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and the same share (55%) want the Senate either to make major changes to the House-passed bill or not pass it all, finds the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

Three in 10 (31%) of the public hold favorable views of the American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed the House on May 4 and is now under consideration in the Senate. In comparison, about half (49%) of the public hold a favorable views of the Affordable Care Act.

There are large partisan divisions on these questions, with far more Republicans holding favorable views of the replacement plan (67%) than of the ACA (12%).  The opposite is true for Democrats, and among independents, more also hold favorable views of the ACA (48%) than of the replacement bill (30%).

In spite of these views, a majority of the public (74%) believe it is” likely” that the president and Congress will repeal and replace the ACA. At the same time, relatively few say the Senate should adapt the American Health Care Act as passed by the House (8%) or with only minor changes (24%). Most want the Senate either to make major changes (26%) or not pass it at all (29%).

Public Growing More Pessimistic About How Repeal Would Affect Them Personally

The poll also finds the public more pessimistic about the replacement bill now than they were in December after the elections but before Congress put forward specific legislation. Nearly half (45%) of the public now says the replacement bill would result in higher health care costs for their family, compared to about a quarter (28%) who said so in December. In addition, a third now expect their ability to get and keep health insurance and the quality of their health care to get worse under the pending bill, compared to about one in five that said so in December.

Other findings include:

  • A majority of the public (63%) continue to say that President Trump and Republicans in Congress are responsible for any problems with the Affordable Care Act moving forward, more than twice the share who say President Obama and Democrats in Congress are responsible. Those considering Republicans responsible includes most Democrats (77%) and independents (63%), and half (49%) of Republicans.
  • Few (14%) believe that the House-passed bill fulfills all or most of President Trump’s promises on health care, while three quarters (76%) say it fulfills none (35%) or some (40%) of them. Among Republicans, twice as many say it fulfills none or some of the President’s promises (59%) as say it fulfills all or most of them (30%).

The poll also includes additional questions on Medicaid, which will be released separately later this week.

Designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the poll was conducted from May 16 – 22 among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,205 adults. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (421) and cell phone (784). The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.