Congressional Republicans are looking to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) as soon as possible, but there's just one problem: The vast majority of Americans don't want lawmakers to leave them without government-funded healthcare.
A Kaiser Health Family Foundation poll released on Jan. 6 found that 75 percent of Americans said that they want legislators to either leave Obamacare in place as is or wait to repeal it until they can replace it with a different, similar way of offering them coverage, while 20 percent said that they would like to end it as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not there is a replacement.
"Most of the American people said they're either against repealing it or they're against repealing it unless Republicans put a replacement plan on the table," Drew Altman, CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, told NPR. "They want to see what comes next before they seen the ACA repealed."
The poll found that respondents were split and largely undecided on whether or not they believed that Congress should vote to dismantle the ACA, with 49 percent saying that they should end it and 47 percent saying the opposite. However, when given various arguments for and against the health care mandate, between 11 and 18 percent of those who were told an argument against their viewpoint changed their minds. And of the 48 percent who initially supported repealing the law, 60 percent of them said that Congress should wait until they can offer a better alternative plan.
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"People in this country need to understand what it is they're being asked to substitute for what's there now so they can have an informed opinion about whether it's better or not," Dr. Andrew Gurman, president of the American Medical Association, told NPR.
Regardless of whether or not a replacement law is coming, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on Jan. 5 that Congress would vote to repeal Obamacare in 2017, though any new health care package that they implement would not go into effect until much later -- at least a year or more down the line, according to The Huffington Post.
"The question there is how long will it take for markets to be put in place, for markets to adjust," Ryan said, according to The Post. "That question we don’t know the answer to, but the legislating on Obamacare will happen this year."