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Americans like the Republican Obamacare replacement in theory — but they don't like what it does

March 15,2017 18:10

The American public is warm to House Republicans' plan to overhaul the US healthcare system, but it doesn't like the actual changes proposed by the law, two new polls suggest. A poll from Morning Consult and Politico found that 46% of Americans ...and more »



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The American public is warm to House Republicans' plan to
overhaul the US healthcare system, but it doesn't like the actual
changes proposed by the law, two new polls suggest.

A poll from Morning Consult and Politico found that 46% of
Americans approved of the new GOP bill, the American Health Care
Act, while only 35% disapproved.

But respondents were not as keen on the legislation's proposed
policies.

Morning Consult and Politico found that the most popular parts of
the new healthcare bill were actually holdover elements from the
Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as
Obamacare. The provision that insurers can't deny coverage based
on a preexisting condition — an ACA holdover — was the most
popular element, with 71% of those surveyed approving of the
idea.

Second-most popular was allowing children to stay on their
parents' insurance until they turn 26 — also an ACA provision —
with 68% support.

The major changes in the AHCA, on the other hand, had lower
support, with the elimination of the individual mandate to
purchase health insurance and the increase in allowances for
health-savings accounts coming in as the most popular new
provisions (50% approval for each).

Below 50% support was the rollback of Medicaid expansion funding
after 2020 (48%), replacing income-based tax credits with flat,
age-based tax credits (39%), and prohibiting states from using
federal funding for Planned Parenthood (38%).

The least popular element was the provision designed to encourage
people to maintain health coverage: a 30% increase in premiums
for people who allow their insurance to lapse in the year before.
That had only 18% support. The individual mandate from the ACA,
in which people paid a tax for not having insurance, received 37%
support.

At the same time, the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan
think tank focused on health policy,
found that Americans generally thought the outcomes from the
AHCA would be negative.

Kaiser found that 48% of people surveyed thought the costs for
those buying their own insurance would increase under the AHCA,
against just 23% of people who expected costs to decrease. The
poll also found that more people thought the AHCA would increase
costs rather than decrease them for every group — young, elderly,
urban, rural, and low-income — except high-income Americans.

The survey was conducted before the nonpartisan Congressional
Budget Office released an unflattering report on the AHCA on
Monday.

The Kaiser poll found that 49% of respondents supported
Obamacare, versus 44% who disapproved of the law, the second
month in a row in which the law was above water in terms of
approval and its highest rating since 2010. Also, 51% of people
surveyed by Kaiser said lawmakers should not vote to repeal the
ACA, while 45% supported some sort of repeal vote.

SEE ALSO: Here are the biggest winners and losers from 'Trumpcare'

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