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Voters Like Obamacare More, But Still Expect Cost Hikes

Friday, July 21, 2017

Obamacare remains the law of the land, but President Trump is calling for repeal after Republicans failed to move a replacement bill through the Senate. More voters than ever view Obamacare favorably and fewer expect the quality of care to suffer, but most still predict health care costs will keep rising.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 49% of Likely U.S. Voters now view Obamacare favorably, including 20% who view it Very Favorably. While these findings are up only slightly from surveys since early 2013, this is the most positive assessment of the law since that time.  Forty-six percent (46%) view the law unfavorably, but that includes one-in-three voters (33%) who share a Very Unfavorable opinion of it. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-five percent (55%) expect the cost of care to go up under Obamacare, though that is down slightly from recent surveys. Just 11% expect costs to go down, while 21% say they’ll remain about the same. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

When it comes to the quality of care, just 21% expect it to get better, while 39% predict it will worsen. Still, that latter figure is the lowest measured in more than seven years. Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe the quality of care will stay about the same. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

While most voters agree Obamacare hasn't been a success, they would rather leave it as is than throw it out completely, as Trump is now calling for. Just 13% of voters want to leave the health care law as is. Fifty-four percent (54%) feel that Congress and the president should go through Obamacare piece by piece to improve it.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 18-19, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixteen percent (16%) of voters consider Obamacare the most serious problem facing this nation, putting it nearly even with the economy overall.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Democrats view Obamacare favorably, while nearly as many Republicans (72%) view it unfavorably. Voters not affiliated with either party are more evenly divided, but tend to view the law more unfavorably than favorably.

At the same time, Democrats (56%) now feel just as strongly as Republicans (54%) and unaffiliateds (53%) do that the cost of care will go up. Republicans don’t feel this way nearly as strongly as they did in past surveys. This may be due to the fact that the questions about the cost and quality of care both refer to the “health care law” rather than “Obamacare”, and some voters may have interpreted the questions as asking about the recent Republican legislation in Congress, rather than current law.

Democrats are fairly evenly divided when it comes to the future of the quality of care. Pluralities of Republicans (48%) and unaffiliated voters (40%) predict the quality of care will worsen, but both numbers are down noticeably from previous surveys.

Women and voters under 40 share a more favorable view of Obamacare than men and older voters do.

Eleven percent (11%) of voters who Strongly Approve of President Trump’s job performance like Obamacare, compared to 80% of those who Strongly Disapprove of the current president.

Most voters continue to think Trump and congressional Republicans will make significant changes to Obamacare in the near future, but 51% worry those changes will go too far. Thirty-five percent (35%) are more concerned that they won't change the law enough.

Voters feel more strongly than ever that reducing health care costs is more important than mandating health insurance coverage for everyone.

While most Americans say their health hasn't changed much over the last five years, most say they are paying more for health care anyway. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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