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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.

Go deeper

Oct 14, 2020 - Health

Republicans' Supreme Court message: Don't worry about the ACA

Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

Health care was by far the dominant issue in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing yesterday for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

The big picture: After promising for 10 years to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, and with a lawsuit pending at the Supreme Court that could do exactly that, Republicans are making a new argument: c’mon, nobody’s getting rid of the Affordable Care Act.

Barrett defends past writings: "I am not hostile to the ACA"

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that she's not "hostile" toward the Affordable Care Act or any statute passed by Congress, defending a past writing in which she criticized Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion upholding the law.

Why it matters: Democrats' central message throughout the confirmation fight has been that Barrett was nominated in order to help President Trump and conservatives dismantle the ACA when the Supreme Court hears a lawsuit against it on Nov. 10.

2 hours ago - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.