Fifty-five percent of Americans now support the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a major turnaround from five months ago when 42% approved and 53% disapproved. This is the first time a majority of Americans have approved of the healthcare law, also known as Obamacare, since Gallup first asked about it in this format in November 2012.
Since the ACA’s passage without a single Republican vote in its favor, the law has been a significant political issue in each of the past four national elections. Republicans’ opposition to the ACA helped them win control of the House in 2010, control of the Senate in 2014 and the presidency last year. However, Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace the healthcare law foundered last month, as House leaders’ replacement bill ran into stiff opposition within the party.
Republicans, Democrats and independents are all more likely to approve of the ACA now than in November, a few days after Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election left Republicans in control of the legislative and executive branches. Independents have led the way in this shift toward approval, increasing by 17 percentage points compared with 10-point changes for both Republicans and Democrats. When including “leaners” (independents who lean toward either the Republican or Democratic Party) in the totals for both major party groups, Democratic approval has increased by 16 points, compared with eight points for Republicans.