Poll reveals widening gap between favorable and unfavorable views of the ACA

The gap between unfavorable and favorable views of the Affordable Care Act widened this month compared to March, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll

Here are five findings from the poll.

1. When asked which issues — in their own words — American voters most want to hear candidates discuss in the 2016 Presidential campaign, healthcare is one of the top four issues mentioned by voters, the poll found. However, half as many cite healthcare compared to the economy and jobs.

2. Thirty percent of registered voters, regardless of party, would like candidates to focus on the economy and jobs. This is followed by national security (21 percent) immigration (17 percent) and Healthcare (15 percent). Healthcare ranks fourth for voters this election cycle, compared to 2012 when it ranked second behind the economy and jobs. Social issues such as race relations and same-sex marriage (10 percent), education (8 percent) and foreign policy (8 percent) are mentioned by about one in ten Americans.

3. When asked specifically what healthcare issues voters would most like to hear the presidential candidates discuss, the ACA and healthcare costs topped the list with more than one-third of registered voters mentioning each. This is followed by expanding healthcare coverage for the uninsured (26 percent) and Medicare (10 percent).

4. Overall ratings of the ACA lean negative this month, with 38 percent having a favorable view and 49 percent having an unfavorable view.

5. The 11 percentage-point gap in favorable vs. unfavorable views compares to a 6-point gap in March, but the movement was among Democrats who are now less likely to hold favorable views (63 percent this month compared to 69 percent in March) and more likely to hold unfavorable ones (25 percent compared to 19 percent). 

6. Overall, the public remains split on what they want Congress to do next with the ACA. Thirty-two percent of Americans want the entire law repealed, while 30 percent want to expand what the law does. Fewer — 14 percent — want the law implemented as is, and 11 percent want the law scaled back.


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