Affordable Care Act supporters at an anti-repeal rally in Los Angeles in March 2017. Photo: Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Activism and political protest is on the rise on the left in the U.S., and support for the Affordable Care Act is one of the biggest issues motivating the protesters, according to the latest survey on activism and protest by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post.

Why it matters: It's a reversal from the last election cycle, when public opinion about the ACA was more negative than positive and Tea Party protests against the ACA were commonplace. It's clear that the political energy in health is switching from right to left.

The majority of those who have rallied or protested about the ACA over the past two years say they plan to be politically active over the next year. But they're not single-minded ACA activists. Most are critical of President Trump and they have a number of interconnected issues on their minds, including the ACA.

The numbers that matter: In our survey, we found that about 50 million adults said they had gone to a rally or protest to express their views in the past two years, with about 14 million saying the ACA was a reason they were rallying. That's about 28%, similar to the shares who said the same about the environment and energy issues (32%) and immigration (30%), but behind women’s rights (46%).

The vast majority (85%) of those who say they rallied, in part, about the ACA were coming out to support the law.  We conducted the survey in January and February, before the recent marches on gun violence.

People who name the ACA as a reason for their activism were more likely to say they will vote in the midterms than people who didn't go to rallies (90% vs. 57%), but it’s not so much their voting power that may matter as their personal participation in the political process. They skew older, higher income, and Democratic, and most would likely have voted anyway.

The details:

  • 70% of those who attended rallies are anti-Trump; 30% approve of him.
  • Those turning out about the ACA were about twice as likely as those who turned out on other issues to say they plan to volunteer or work in a 2018 election campaign.
  • Activism on behalf of the ACA was not a rejection of single payer. Most demonstrators support both.  

The big picture: At a time when trust in institutions is declining and many say we are wallowing in a “post-truth” society, rather than turn off and tune out, large numbers of citizens are seeing a virtue in getting out of their homes to participate in the democratic process.  

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,189,737 — Total deaths: 716,669 — Total recoveries — 11,610,192Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,917,050 — Total deaths: 160,702 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (L) and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speak to the media on Capitol Hill. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump should sign executive orders unilaterally addressing coronavirus stimulus spending after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again on Friday.

Why it matters: Friday was viewed as a self-imposed deadline to negotiate a new relief bill. But after an intense week of negotiations on Capitol Hill, White House and Democratic leadership failed to reach a deal on delivering much needed aid to Americans and businesses.

Counterintelligence chief: Russia aiming to “denigrate” Biden ahead of election

William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, before Congress in 2018. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate former Vice President Biden" before the November election.

Why it matters: Evanina warned that some Kremlin-linked actors are trying to support President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television, while others are spreading false claims about corruption to undermine Biden and the Democratic Party.