Feb 24, 2020 - Health

Republican voters have moved on from hating the ACA

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Data: Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

Go deeper

The Supreme Court could be Trump's ACA nightmare

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court’s next big Affordable Care Act case could be a huge political problem for President Trump.

Why it matters: The Trump administration will spend the next several months urging the court to strip away some 20 million people’s health insurance and to throw out protections for pre-existing conditions. And it may all come to a head just before Election Day.

Go deeperArrowMar 3, 2020 - Health

Even supporters may not understand Medicare for All

Data: Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll; Note: ±3 percentage points margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Even many supporters of Medicare for All don’t necessarily know how it would work.

The big picture: That doesn’t necessarily mean more information will turn supporters into opponents, but it shows that we’re still at an early stage in this debate, in which opinions about Medicare for All are often reflections of broader political alliances, not the details of a plan.

Go deeperArrowMar 2, 2020 - Health

Supreme Court takes crucial Affordable Care Act case

Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images

The Supreme Court announced this morning that it will hear a major case against the Affordable Care Act, meaning the health care law's fate will be on the line in the middle of the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The lawsuit — which is supported by the Trump administration — argues that the entire ACA should be struck down, including its most popular provisions, like its pre-existing conditions protections.