Sunday, November 7, 2010

How Popular Is Repealing Health Care Reform?

Now that the fallout from this week's elections are evident, we are already hearing calls from the new Republican majority in the House that they will start actively pushing for repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  This made me wonder: how popular is the notion of repeal among the American public?

The Kaiser Family Foundation published a poll recently that seeks to answer that question.  My reading of the situation is that the polling is fairly hard to interpret, with somewhere between 26% and 51% reporting they would like to see the law repealed.  However, the highest %s that are in favor of repeal were reported when the only choice was repeal/don't repeal.  If the poll offered additional questions, including making small changes, or giving the law a chance to work and adjusting as things move forward, the % supporting straight-out repeal was much lower.

Finally, one poll asked respondents which of the reforms enacted by the PPACA they would like to see repealed.  When analyzed at this level of detail, more than 50% supported keeping 6 of the 8 reforms discussed.  Only 2/8 reforms had 50% in favor of repealing them: the individual mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance (51% favored repeal), and the new taxes and fees on "cadillac" (high cost) health insurance plans.  The reforms that more than 50% wanted to keep included allowing children stay on parents' plans up to age 26, eliminating lifetime benefit caps, making insurance available to people with major preexisting conditions, improving the Medicare part D drug benefit for seniors, and setting up health insurance exchanges to make health insurance available for those who cannot afford it now.

Sounds as though most Americans who disapprove of the PPACA overall still like many of its key reforms, and prefer that the law be adapted/modified, not repealed.  I hope the new Republican House majority is paying attention.


Marksphone said...

It would be interesting to compare this data with an examination of how many people know some/any specifics of PPACA without prompting. I would guess there are a percent who say: 'Nope don't know any specific other then it's expensive' Repeal it.

It is my sense that the vast majority of those who want repeal do not understand the law or what it's benefits are. We/they have failed to educate the public.

Finally, I wonder what type and level of HC insurance those who want to repeal the act have and what if any illnesses they've had. That would make an interesting set of data points.

mark said...

My suspicions are along the same line as yours:

--I suspect a lot of people have no idea what the PPACA actually does, largely b/c true dialogue was impossible thanks to the misinformation being spread about the law.

--I can't answer the question about the health insurance and overall opinions re: the PPACA in too much detail. However, seniors (who almost all have Medicare) oppose the law at a much higher rate than other age groups do.