A First for Obamacare: Majority of Americans Now Support It
Policy + Politics

A First for Obamacare: Majority of Americans Now Support It

© Joshua Roberts / Reuters

In another indication of the growing opposition to the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, for the first time a majority of Americans say they support the program, and most want to see it improved rather than dismantled.

These are the findings of a new Pew Research Center poll released this week showing that public support for the 2010 health care law that has provided coverage to more than 20 million Americans is at its highest level on record.

Related: Boehner ‘Started Laughing’ When Republicans Vowed to Replace Obamacare

Fifty-four percent of the 1,503 adults surveyed Feb. 7 to 12 said they approve of former President Obama’s signature health insurance plan, while 43 percent say they disapprove. This marks a dramatic turning point because – until now – national polling by Pew, the Kaiser Family Foundation and others consistently found more people disapproving than approving of the program that provides subsidized coverage in the individual health care market.

Not surprisingly, there continues to be a huge partisan divide over the controversial program.  Republicans in the survey overwhelmingly opposed Obamacare (89 percent to 10 percent), while 85 percent of Democrats voiced approval. Slightly more than half of independents (53 percent) supported the plan.

At the same time, Republicans who disapprove of Obamacare are sorely divided over whether President Trump and congressional Republicans should get rid of the law entirely or modify the law to make improvements. Forty-two percent of those Republicans want to fix it, while 44 percent wan to get rid of it.

These latest findings must be food for thought for the Trump administration, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who are watching the air go out of the balloon for the “repeal and replace” movement that helped sweep them to victory last November.

Angry voters from both parties have been turning out in droves at town hall meetings throughout the country to demand that lawmakers preserve Obamacare in some form for fear they will lose their insurance coverage next year.