With the upcoming 2020 election beginning to focus on healthcare as a major campaign topic on both sides, the most recent poll by Gallup has shown that Americans remain split on their opinion of the Affordable Care Act colloquially known as ObamaCare. The recent shows Americans almost evenly split on the issue of Obamacare, reflecting that healthcare remains one of the hottest political topics of the last decade.
The poll showed 50.1 percent of those surveyed expressing approval of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) overall, while 48 percent disapproved.
The poll, which has been performed by Gallup a few times a year since November of 2012, simply asks the question, “Do you generally approve or disapprove of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama that restructured the U.S. healthcare system?” It has become one of the clearest measures of the public opinion of the healthcare lawl. Public perception has drastically changed over the years with overall approval peaking in November of 2016 right after the election of President Trump with a 55% overall approval. The low came in 2014 (the year the individual marketplace, Healthcare.gov, premiered) with only 37% showing approval.
Since the 2016 election, the results have remained steady with approval staying above disapproval for the entire period, and ranging between 47% and 55%.
As would be expected, support for the ACA is split along party lines, with 85 percent of Democrats in Monday's poll supporting it, while only 10 percent of Republicans approve it. The approval within the two parties has been consistent since the first iteration of the poll. The segment that seems to be accounting for the overall sway is the independents. The overall approval/ disapproval of ACA seems to follow the independents’ sentiment, which has changed over time.
Through this survey, you can clearly see that whichever party can speak to the independents most effectively will be able to frame and control the healthcare debate for the foreseeable future.
The latest results from the survey come as the Trump administration has ramped up its opposition to the ACA, with the Department of Justice siding with a district court ruling that found the law unconstitutional. Republicans in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are pushing back on the President’s strategy to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying health care legislation won't be considered until after the 2020 election.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats in the Presidential race and those within the House of Representatives are backing legislation to fortify the ACA against repeal, and even take healthcare in the direction of “Medicare For All,” which would essentially make the United States a single payer healthcare state.
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