Voters trust Democrats more than Republicans when it comes to healthcare

Healthcare is a major voter issue, but many Americans tend to trust Democrats more than Republicans in this area heading into the 2020 election, according to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll specifically looked how Americans view a government healthcare plan people can buy into. Politicians from both parties have increasingly backed the idea, with several presidential candidates supporting Medicare for All plans.

The poll comes at a time when healthcare has begun to take center stage in the upcoming 2020 national election and as the Trump administration has continually challenged the Affordable Care Act over the last two years. In late March, the Trump administration threw its support behind a federal judge’s ruling that the ACA should be thrown out entirely.

Americans trusted Democrats more than Republicans to handle healthcare, 40% to 23%, according to the poll. That gap––17 percentage points––is much larger than the spread between the two parties when Americans are asked about other areas, such as trust of handling the economy, immigration or foreign policy.

Americans who identify as Democrats are also much more likely to support the ACA than Republicans, according to the April poll, which queried more than 1,100 adults. In total, 42% of Americans supported the ACA, while 31% opposed it and 25% were neutral. Among Democrats, 77% said they support the ACA and just 7% were opposed, compared to 19% of Republicans who supported the healthcare law and 59% who opposed it.

Support for a single payer healthcare system was also divided among party lines, with 61% of Democrats in favor of such a proposal, compared to 22% of Republicans. In total, 42% of adults were in favor, while 31% opposed a single payer system. However, Republicans were more in favor of a government health plan that people could purchase instead of private insurance (41%).

Despite opposition from Republicans on the ACA, there are some aspects of the healthcare law that receive bipartisan support, the poll revealed. Allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they are 26, as well as subsidies for those who cannot afford to purchase private insurance are both supported by 67% of Americans and opposed by 14%.

A majority also stated they are in favor of prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage based on medical history (64%) and requiring employers with 50 or more employees to pay a fine if they don’t offer health insurance (58%).