Poll: Majority would like to see repeal, changes to Obamcare

posted at 7:01 pm on January 9, 2017 by John Sexton

A poll released Monday found a slight majority of respondents would like to see either full repeal or major changes to the outgoing president’s health care law. From the Hill:

The new poll, conducted by the GS Strategy Group on behalf of the conservative American Action Network, found that 54 percent of likely voters say they would like to see the president’s signature legislative achievement undergo full repeal or major changes.

Forty-three percent said the law should be left as it is or that it requires only minor changes.

Support for repeal went up to 70% when the question included a transition period from the current law to a replacement plan. That’s essentially the repeal and delay plan the GOP has been saying it will pursue, though the length of the delay is unclear at this point.

Last Friday the Kaiser Family Foundation released a similar poll on what Americans want to see done with Obamacare. From Roll Call:

Forty-seven percent of people who were polled don’t think that Congress should repeal the 2010 health care overhaul. Another 28 percent of people responding do want it repealed but want to see a replacement plan before a repeal vote is taken, while 20 percent favor an immediate repeal vote with plan details to be worked out later.

The feelings about the next steps reflect how people view the health law in general, with 46 percent saying they view it unfavorably, compared to 43 percent who have a favorable view.

Though the questions are broken up differently the overall results with regard to support for repeal aren’t dramatically different. The GS Strategy Group poll found 43% opposed repeal versus 47% who opposed it in the Kaiser poll. In both polls those who want repeal outnumbered those who do not. The caveat is that Kaiser broke the repeal questions into two parts, those who want repeal immediately and those who only want repeal when a replacement is ready. Given that both polls had a margin of error of around 3 points the overall support for repeal in each poll (54% v. 48%) is in the ballpark.

The good news for Republicans in these polls is that a majority of respondents are on board with repeal/major changes to the law. Also good news for the GOP, the GS Strategy Group poll found just 32% of respondents felt Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “Make American Sick Again” slogan was accurate.

The bad news for Republicans is that more than half of the pro-repeal respondents in the Kaiser poll want to see the replacement bill up front. That’s not something the GOP is prepared to do and also probably not something it should do. Making repeal contingent on replacement puts Democrats in the driver’s seat by allowing them to drag out the process and criticize the replacement bill endlessly. Ultimately, no replacement bill will appeal to them so long as stalling and doing nothing results in the continuation of Obamacare. If the GOP hopes to repeal it, as opposed to just making changes, it will probably have to do that up front.


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