Republican voters have moved on from hating the ACA
Republican voters have moved on from the Affordable Care Act, shifting their focus and opposition instead toward Medicare for All.
By the numbers: In our latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, 19% of registered Republicans said opposition to Medicare for All is their top health care issue, compared to just 3% who said the same for opposition to the ACA.
Republicans’ top issue overall is the same as the overall public’s: Reducing health care costs.
- Repealing the ACA was Republicans' top health care priority as recently as 2016.
Yes, but: This does not mean attempts to repeal the ACA are over.
- President Trump and many Republican leaders still support it, and the idea remains popular with Republican voters even as it has become a lower priority for them.
Between the lines: The ACA “s popularity is at a high point — 55% support and 37% oppose it — and many of its provisions are popular across partisan lines.
- The health care law was in some ways an outlet for Republicans to channel their broader opposition to Obama, so temperatures have cooled since he left office.
- And the least popular element of the ACA, the individual mandate penalty, is also gone.
- Repealing “Obamacare” will still generate applause lines at Republican rallies, but Republicans and President Trump now see a bigger payoff with their base from branding Democratic ideas as socialism and and attacking Medicare for All.
What’s next: If Sen. Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee, the focus on Medicare for All and the ensuing partisan warfare on health will intensify.
- If President Trump wins reelection, the current conflagration over Medicare for All will likely give way to a renewed debate about his plans for the ACA and Medicaid.