Politics

Poll: Voters Support Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

| by Ray Brown

A new poll found that the majority of Americans -- including almost half of Republicans -- oppose making it easier for for health insurance companies to deny coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

"Fifty-two percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Republicans oppose allowing states to opt out of requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions," said Kyle Dropp, co-founder and chief research officer of Morning Consult, which conducted the poll for Politico. "In this polarized political climate, this is one issue where Democrats and Republicans largely agree."

The American Health Care Act, the Republican-led effort to replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare," will allow states to opt-out of the federal restriction on health insurance companies' ability to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

That restriction was one of the most popular aspects of the ACA, an otherwise controversial health care plan that had a sometimes bumpy introduction to the American health care system.

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The Morning Consult/Politico poll reiterated that finding when it found that only 38 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing states to opt out of the requirement that health insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions. Meanwhile, 51 percent oppose allowing states to opt out.

The poll also found that 46 percent of Americans believe the "federal government should set a national standard of health insurance coverage that outlines the minimum benefits all health insurance plans must provide," while 38 percent disagreed with that statement.

Although most Americans believe in keeping federal restrictions on health insurance companies when it comes to pre-existing conditions, more Americans are in favor of repealing the ACA than they are in favor of keeping it.

The poll found that 42 percent approve of repealing the landmark 2010 health care bill, while 37 percent disapprove.

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There are some aspects of the ACA that continue to be divisive among the public, particularly the individual mandate, which requires Americans have coverage or else face a financial penalty.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released in March, 50 percent opposed the individual mandate, while 48 percent were in favor of it. Under the Republicans' proposed AHCA, the individual mandate would end.

The AHCA will also repeal by 2020 an ACA feature that gave tax credits to help some people pay deductibles and make co-payments, reported The New York Times.

If passed, the AHCA will keep at least one popular ACA feature: allowing children to stay on their parents' health care plan until the age of 26, according to CNN.

Sources: Politico (2), CNN, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Architect of the Capitol/Wikimedia Commons

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