Poll: U.S. adults divided on healthcare reform

By Allen Cone  |  July 12, 2017 at 12:31 PM
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July 12 (UPI) -- U.S. adults are divided on the government's best approach to healthcare insurance reform, according to a Gallup poll.

The largest segment, 44 percent, want "significant changes" to the existing Affordable Care Act but to keep it in place, according to the survey. Thirty percent favor repealing and replacing the law and 23 percent want to keep the ACA as it is.

Gallup conducted telephone interviews from July 5 to Saturday with a random sample of 1,021 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

"President Donald Trump has promised Americans a 'beautiful' healthcare bill, but Americans themselves have varying opinions on what such a bill should look like," Gallup's Justin McCarthy said. "No groundswell of support is emerging for any approach, but the greatest share of Americans prefer the idea of keeping the law while making significant changes to it."

Americans' views generally are aligned with members of Congress based on party.

Among Republican voters, 70 percent favor repealing and replacing the law, known as Obamacare compared with 23 percent wanting to keep the act and make significant changes, and 6 percent to keep it largely in place.

On the other side of the political spectrum, 48 percent of Democratic respondents want significant changes but 39 percent want to keep it largely in place, and 4 percent support repealing and replacing the law.

With independents, 48 percent want to keep the ACA and make changes. The rest are somewhat equally divided -- 25 percent repeal and replace and 23 percent keep it as is.

The ACA has the support of 53 percent of Americans surveyed -- the second time since the question was first asked in November 2010 a majority feel this way. In April, it had a 55 percent approval rate. Previously, the range was between 37 percent and 48 percent support.

In 2014, the ACA's individual mandate required Americans to obtain coverage or pay a tax penalty.

Last week, Gallup reported that the percentage of U.S. adults who don't have healthcare insurance rose to 11.7 percent in the second quarter of 2017, a 0.4 percentage increase from the end of 2016.

In May, the House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace parts of the ACA.

Senate Republicans haven't voted yet on a replacement. On June 27, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to postpone a procedural vote on the original GOP Senate healthcare plan before the Fourth of July recess because he lacked the votes to pass it. Republicans plan to unveil a revised bill later this week.

The margin of error of the Gallup survey is 4 percentage points.

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