Poll: Trump should ‘do what he can’ to make ACA work

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll found the majority of Americans—including a slim majority of Republicans—feel that after the failure of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the administration of President Donald Trump should do what it can to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) work.

The vast majority of Democrats (89 percent) and independents (78 percent), along with 51 percent of Republicans responding to the poll, said the administration should make the law work. The support also includes 54 percent of respondents who said they approve of Trump’s performance as president.

Overall, only 19 percent said the administration should “do what it can to make the law fail” in order to make repealing and replacing the ACA easier later, with only 38 percent of Republicans favoring this strategy. While Trump said after the AHCA’s defeat he’d “let Obamacare explode,” HHS Secretary Tom Price vowed to uphold the current law during a congressional hearing.

The poll showed Trump wouldn’t be able to pin the law’s failure on his predecessor. A majority (61 percent) said “because President Trump and Republicans in Congress are in control of the government, they are now responsible for any problems with the ACA moving forward.” Some 31 percent said any issues would fall on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress who helped pass the law in 2010.

Among the other key results from the poll:

·         64 percent said it was a “good thing” the AHCA didn’t pass, but are divided on the reasons why—31 percent said it was because they don’t want the ACA repealed, while 29 percent want it repealed and replaced but had concerns over this particular legislation

·         55 percent said the AHCA failed because it went too far in cutting existing programs, while 35 percent said it didn’t go far enough in repealing the ACA. Most Republicans (58 percent) chose the latter option in explaining the AHCA’s failure.

·         55 percent said lack of support from Democrats is why the bill failed, including 75 percent of Republicans. Democrats cited a lack of leadership from Trump as the main factor behind the AHCA being shelved.

·         A lack of support from hospitals and healthcare organizations was cited by 43 percent of respondents as a factor in the bill’s failure to pass.

·         Support for the ACA has decreased from Kaiser’s March poll: 46 percent had a favorable view of the law, with an equal 46 percent having a unfavorable view. The split in the previous poll was 49-44 in favor of the law.

As for the future of the healthcare reform efforts, there’s no consensus among voters in different parties. Republicans are still confident Trump can deliver on his campaign promise to offer better healthcare at a lower cost than the ACA (80 percent, down from 86 percent in December). Independents (36 percent) and Democrats (8 percent) are far more pessimistic.

There was a similar partisan split when respondents were asked what Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress should do next. Overall, 49 percent said they should focus on other issues, while 45 percent said they should continue working on a repeal-and-replace plan. Democrats (70 percent) were far more likely to say Republicans should move on, while 75 percent of Republicans want discussions on a new plan to continue. Independents were evenly split at 48 percent on this question.