Health Reform WK-EDGE More than half of Democrats want to build on ACA
Monday, September 23, 2019

More than half of Democrats want to build on ACA

By Patricia K. Ruiz, J.D.

A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation describes support for keeping the ACA, as well as replacing it.

A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that more than half of the public views the ACA favorably, with Democrats preferring a presidential candidate who will build upon the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). The poll also found that the public agrees that patients should be protected against surprise billing.

More than half (55 percent) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents prefer a candidate who would use the ACA as a foundation for expanding health coverage and lowering costs. Fewer of these individuals (40 percent) said they preferred the ACA to be replaced by a Medicare-for-all plan. Among those who wanted the ACA replaced, most said they would still vote for a candidate who wanted to build upon the ACA, while 14 percent said they would only vote for a candidate who wanted to replace the ACA.

The public overall largely views the ACA favorably (53 percent, up from 48 percent in July); the share of Democrats who hold favorable views of the ACA increased by 11 percentage points during President Donald Trump’s term. Many expressed uncertainty about the difference between a government-administered public option and a national Medicare-for-all plan, though about 70 percent of the public overall (and 41 percent of Republicans) favored a government-administered public option.

The poll also found that majorities across party lines considered the following to be top health care priorities for Congress: action on lowering prescription drug costs, maintaining the ACA’s pre-existing condition protections, and lowering the amount people pay for care. The majority of the public (78 percent) supports legislation to protect patients from paying the cost of surprise bills.

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