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Kaiser finds strong opposition to ACA repeal-only strategy

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Polling organizations are starting to ask Americans what they now want policymakers in Washington to do about the Affordable Care Act.

Related: Republicans forge ahead with ACA change efforts

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation says, in a new report, that just 20 percent of the U.S. adults polled last month supported the idea of repealing the ACA immediately and coming up with an ACA replacement later.

About 47 percent of the survey participants said they want Congress to keep the law in place, and 28 percent said they want Congress to repeal the ACA and pass a replacement at the same time.

The Kaiser Foundation, a Menlo Park, California-based organization, based those figures on results from a national survey of 1,204 U.S. residents ages 18 and older conducted from Dec. 13 through Dec. 19.

Fox News came up with comparable results last month, when it had a polling firm ask about ACA repeal when it commissioned a national survey of its own. The polling firm, Anderson Robbins Research, surveyed 1,034 U.S. registered voters from Dec. 11 through Dec. 13.

What Fox News reported

Forty-nine percent of the participants in the Fox News poll said they want Congress to repeal the ACA.

Related: ACA exchanges, health insurers and public perceptions

The Republicans who took the Fox News survey said they favor ACA repeal by a margin of 90 percent to 7 percent. Independents supported ACA repeal by a margin of 52 percent to 41 percent.

Frank Luntz, a well-known polling consultant, told Fox News earlier this week that he thinks Republicans’ supporters want to see the ACA repealed immediately and also want to see it replaced, but that the supporters are willing to wait for a year for a replacement.

Voter views could turn out to be important, because Republicans have just 52 seats in the Senate. Republicans can get some budget-related measures through the Senate with just 51 votes, but, if the procedural rules used in the past continue to apply, they will need 60 votes to get ordinary bills through the Senate.

Republicans are believed to have several major options for changing the ACA, including:

  • Trying to round up 60 votes to repeal the ACA, without trying to replace it.
  • Getting a budget measure that effectively repeals part of the law, by cutting off funding for major ACA spending programs, such as the ACA public exchange premium tax credit program, through the Senate with just 51 votes. Republicans then would try to win enough moderate Democratic senator support to repeal and replace the ACA with 60 votes later.
  • Starting with an ordinary bill that would change or replace the ACA, and scraping up enough votes from Democrats and independents to come up with the 60 votes needed to push it through the Senate.


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