Jul 7, 2020 - Health

Trump may lose swing voters by asking SCOTUS to strike down the ACA

Data: KFF; Graphic: Axios Visuals
Data: KFF; Graphic: Axios Visuals

President Trump’s decision to ask the Supreme Court to throw out the Affordable Care Act may alienate the independent voters who can swing the presidential election. That could be especially important in battleground states.

The big picture: Many of the ACA’s benefits are hugely popular with independents — even beyond protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which gets the most attention.

By the numbers: Our KFF polling asked independent voters whether they would want certain ACA policies to remain in place even if the ACA were thrown out.

  • 93% of independent voters want insurance companies to continue to be prohibited from setting lifetime limits on coverage.
  • 82% want to retain subsidies to help people pay for insurance.
  • 80% want young adults to keep the option of staying on their parent’s plans
  • And 90% of independents want to see protections for people with pre-existing conditions continue if the court throws out the ACA.

President Trump has offered no plan to replace any of these consumer protections if the Supreme Court grants his wish and strikes down the versions that exist now.

  • The ACA’s Medicaid expansion, which is also popular, would also disappear.

What to watch: Going after popular ACA consumer protections may even create some vulnerability within Trump’s base.

  • 79% of Republicans support getting rid of the ACA. But if Republicans think that might result in losing protections for pre-existing conditions, support for overturning the ACA drops to 45%.

The bottom line: Trying to get the ACA thrown out in court may help Trump deliver on a campaign promise for his base, but it could also drive independents toward Democrats.

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