Monday, June 26, 2017

Looking at Americans' Pro/Con Views of ACA to Anticipate How People Will Feel About Republicans' (Potential) Replacement

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Dan Hopkins attempts to connect reasons cited by respondents in the past for supporting or opposing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) to Americans' future attitudes toward a Republican replacement bill (should one pass). For example, the most commonly cited reason for supporting the ACA, endorsed by roughly 17% of respondents, was "increased access." Hopkins then invokes "initial analyses suggest[ing] that the proposed changes probably won’t cut out-of-pocket spending" and concludes, "if the reform reduces access to health insurance, it’s hard to envision the bill becoming more popular than the law it seeks to replace."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Single-Payer Proposal in California

The Los Angeles Times reports polling results from the Public Policy Institute of California, under the headline "Single-payer healthcare is popular with Californians — unless it raises their taxes."

Friday, May 12, 2017

Polls on American Health Care Act (AHCA) After House Passage

HuffPollster reports on four polls that have gauged public opinion toward the American Health Care Act (ACHA), Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-WI) repeal-and-replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act (ACA; also known as Obamacare), since the bill passed the U.S. House on May 4. Note that some of the survey questions generating the following results alluded to the ACHA having passed, whereas others described the legislation as a proposal. Support for the AHCA comes in at:
  • 31% in a May 6 HuffPost/YouGov poll; this poll also found that, "Americans are more likely to be intensely opposed than even modestly supportive. Just 8 percent say they favor the bill strongly, with 34 percent strongly opposed."
  • 31% in a May 6-9 Economist/YouGov poll (strongly 11%, somewhat 20%). 
  • 38% in a May 4-6 Morning Consult/Politico poll (strongly 13%, somewhat 25%). This poll also found that, "...55 percent of voters said they support bas[ing tax] credits on people’s income and location — which is how Obamacare’s subsidies are calculated. In contrast, 18 percent of voters supported basing credits on age, as proposed in the GOP alternative." (The apparent rationale for age-based credits is that tax-based subsidies can be used to attract younger people to purchase health insurance.)
  • 21% in a May 4-9 Quinnipiac poll (strongly 9%, somewhat 12%). The Q-Poll also found that, "Voters say 75-21 percent, including 59-34 percent among Republicans, that it's a 'bad idea' to give states the ability to allow health insurance companies to raise rates on people with pre-existing conditions."
Overall, then, neither the AHCA as a whole, nor some of its specific policy changes to Obamacare, seem particularly popular at this time. The bill is now in the Senate's hands and, while most observers expect the Senate to make modifications, the extent of these is anybody's guess.

UPDATE (5/14/17): Via Political Wire, there's a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in which "just 23% call the legislation a good idea, including 18% who 'strongly' say that."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Republican Support Grows for Specific Obamacare Provisions (Economist/YouGov)

Kathy Frankovic reviews new poll findings showing that self-identified Republicans now express greater support for many Obamacare provisions than they did in 2010, the year of the bill's passage (via HuffPollster).

Friday, March 24, 2017

Five-Thirty-Eight Presents Three Excellent Articles on ACA/AHCA Public Opinion

Five-Thirty-Eight, which covers politics, sports, and culture through a statistical/analytic lens, has published three articles in recent days on public opinion toward the American Health Care Act (AHCA)*, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan's alternative to former President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Harry Enten writes about how, "The AHCA is much more disliked than the ACA and [Bill and Hillary] Clinton’s health care reform bill [in 1993-94] were when they were first introduced" and "may haunt the GOP" in future elections.
  • Perry Bacon, Jr., argues that the fervor over Obamacare and its possible repeal/replacement by the Republicans is "disproportionate" to the substantive effects of such a policy change, as "less than a tenth of all Americans" receive health care coverage through the ACA. Rather, as Bacon contends, "the Obamacare debate is really about much more than health care. In many ways, the two parties... are also debating fundamental questions about the role of government, work, income redistribution, race, class and Barack Obama."
  • Nate Silver estimates support for the AHCA in each of the nation's 435 congressional districts and concludes that "there are about 80 districts... where supporters of the bill are in the plurality [i.e., supporters outnumber opponents, but supporters don't necessarily reach 51%]. But I estimate that there are only three of them — Alabama’s 4th, Kentucky’s 5th and Texas’s 13th — where supporters of the bill constitute an outright majority."
In addition, Slate discusses a Quinnipiac poll showing only a microscopic 13% of women support the AHCA (with men not much higher at 22%).

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*I've started pronouncing the AHCA acronym as "Ock-ah." You may wish to follow suit.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

GOP/Ryan Insurance Bill Faring Poorly in the Polls

The Huffington Post summarizes recent public-opinion polling on Republican health-insurance legislation introduced by Speaker Paul Ryan, as part of the GOP's effort to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). This article focuses entirely on public attitudes toward the Ryan plan, whereas a separate article discusses the Speaker's legislation among other topics. In a nutshell, the GOP/Ryan plan is not very popular.

Readers of this blog may recall the extensive discussion of opposition from the left to Obamacare, as some liberals seemed to be holding out for a Canadian-style single-payer plan or other system that did not rely so heavily on private insurance companies. In converse fashion, Fox News looked at opposition to the GOP/Ryan plan from the right on the grounds that it doesn't go far enough in undoing Obamacare. In particular, some of the most conservative members of the U.S. House have taken issue with the GOP/Ryan plan's retention of what are known as refundable tax credits.

How much is opposition from the right driving the overall opposition to the GOP/Ryan plan? Somewhat, but not as the predominant factor. According to the second of the two HuffPost articles linked above:

A Fox News poll published Wednesday night finds that just 34 percent of registered voters support the GOP’s health care plan, with 54 percent in opposition ― 36 percent oppose because it makes too many changes to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and 11 percent because it makes too few.