Nov 24, 2018 - Health

Exclusive poll: Public fears lawsuit over pre-existing conditions

Data: Survey Monkey online poll conducted Nov. 13-15, 2018 among 2,798 U.S. adults. Total margin of error is ±2.5 percentage points; Poll methodology; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Most Americans are worried about the effects of a lawsuit that could gut the Affordable Care Act's protections for pre-existing conditions — probably because most people have a family member with a pre-existing condition, according to an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: A ruling in this case is expected any day, and could immediately turn the campaign-season back-and-forth over pre-existing conditions into an acute crisis for millions of people.

By the numbers: A whopping 88% of those surveyed said it's very important or somewhat important to them that the ACA's protections for pre-existing conditions remain law.

  • 74% — including a majority of Republicans — said they're at least somewhat worried about being able to afford health insurance if those protections vanish.
  • And 67% said someone in their household has a pre-existing condition.

Where it stands: A federal judge in Texas is expected to rule soon in the lawsuit.

  • Texas and the Republican attorneys general who brought the suit want the judge to throw out the entire health care law.
  • The Justice Department says three provisions need to fall: the individual mandate, the requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions, and the ban on charging higher premiums because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Although President Trump has pledged to restore those protections if they're struck down, neither he nor his party has ever come up with a comprehensive plan to do so.

Methodology: This analysis is based on a SurveyMonkey online poll conducted among adults ages 18 and older in the United States. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

The survey was conducted Nov. 13-15 among 2,798 adults. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points and full crosstabs are available here.

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