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					July 10, 2012


GOP Pursue Healthcare Repeal at Their Peril
Public Opinion Post-SCOTUS Decision
To:               Interested Parties

From:           Anna Greenberg




On the eve of another Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, there is
little appetite to revisit this debate and continued support for the provisions in the
legislation. Moreover, there is some evidence of increasing support for the law overall.
As Republicans pursue this course in Congress and in the course of their individual
campaigns including the presidential campaign they are in danger of having a
conversation with the voters that speaks past their more pressing concerns about the
economy.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, multiple surveys show increased support for the

increased from 37 percent to 41 percent, while opposition dropped from 44 percent to 41
percent.1 Similarly, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that views towards the ACA are
divided 43 to 42 percent, a significant improvement from 36-52 percent in May 2012.2


       Figure 1: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Early Reaction to Supreme Court Decision on the
       ACA, June 28-30, 2012

As you may know, a health                Very             Somewhat            Somewhat             Very
reform bill was signed into law in     Favorable          Favorable          Unfavorable        Unfavorable   Refused
2010. Given what you know
about the health reform law, do
you have a generally (favorable)
or generally (unfavorable)
opinion of it?

                 06/12                    25                   16                   11                30        18
                 05/12                    17                   20                   12                32        19
1
    Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, June 28-30, 2012.
2
    Washington Post-ABC News Poll, June 28-July 1, 2012


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Healthcare Reform Post SCOTUS Decision                                                                           2




While the public is divided, but moving towards support for the law, the individual provisions are
enormously powerful. As the April 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows, strong majorities
favor key provisions such as keeping children on insurance until the age of 26 (71 percent
favorable), closing the Medicare donut hole (78 percent favorable), eliminating the gender
disparity in insurance ratings (61 percent favorable) and prohibiting denying coverage because
of a preexisting condition (60 percent favorable).


       Figure 2: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, April 4-10, 2012

                                         Date      Very       Somewhat      Somewhat      Very
                                                 Favorable    Favorable     Unfavorable   Unfavorable   Know/
                                                                                                        Refused
The law allows children to stay on
                                         4/12        46           25             12           14           2
their parents insurance until age 26
The law gradually closes the

                                         4/12        48           30             10           8            4
no longer be required to pay the full
cost of their medications when they
reach the gap
The law will prohibit insurance
companies from charging women            4/12        45           16             12           24           4
higher premiums than men
The law will expand the existing
Medicaid program to cover more low-      4/12        36           30             15           17           3
income, uninsured adults
The law will prohibit insurance
companies from denying coverage          4/12        42           18             13           23           3

The law will place a limit on the
amount that insurance companies
can charge older people compared to      4/12        28           24             19           22           7
younger people




It is not a surprise, then, that people would rather keep or expand the law (53 percent) than
repeal it (20 percent) or repeal and replace with a Republican alternative (18 percent). As two
recent polls show only a third of the voters support a repeal of the entire law.3




3
    USA Today/Gallup Poll, June 28, 2012; Washington Post-ABC News Poll, July 10, 2012.

    2012 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, All Rights Reserved.                                             July, 2012
Healthcare Reform Post SCOTUS Decision                                                                       3




       Figure 3: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Early Reaction to Supreme Court Decision on the
       ACA, June 28-30, 2012

What would you like to see Congress do           Expand      Keep       Repeal and    Repeal      DK/
when it comes to the health care law? They         law     law as is   replace with     and     Refused
should expand the law, they should keep the                            Republican       NOT
law as is, they should repeal the law and                               alternative   replace
replace it with a Republican-sponsored
alternative, (or) they should repeal the law
and not replace it?

                     06/12                          28        25           18           20         10




                        -48 percent.4 As important, voters are ready to move on from this issue
and would prefer a discussion of the economy to a rehash of the healthcare debate. In the most
recent Washington Post-
federal healthcare law would make no difference to their vote (28 percent more likely to support,
28 percent less likely to support) and by an 11-point margin, voters are more likely to say that
the economy (53 percent)                                          to their vote than healthcare
policy (42 percent).5




4
    Washington Post-ABC News Poll, June 28-July 1, 2012.
5
    Washington Post-ABC News Poll, July 10, 2012

    2012 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, All Rights Reserved.                                         July, 2012

				
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