New polling has found that the Affordable Care Act has reached a new peak in popularity. The surge in approval for former President Barack Obama's healthcare law arrives just as Republican lawmakers ready their proposal to repeal and replace it.
On Feb. 24, the results of a tracking poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggest that slightly more Americans view the ACA favorably than unfavorably, as 48 percent of respondents expressed approval for the act, while 42 percent expressed disapproval. Kaiser has conducted 60 separate polls on the ACA since 2010, and these results mark its highest net approval thus far, CNN reports.
Breaking down the data, 73 percent of self-identified Democrats approve of the ACA, while 74 percent of self-identified Republicans disapprove of it. A majority of independents approve of the healthcare law, with 50 percent in favor and 39 percent against.
While the ACA remains a subject of partisan contention between Democrats and Republicans, approval for the healthcare law has risen dramatically among independents. In December 2015, only 32 percent of independents expressed favorable opinions of the ACA against 53 percent who expressed unfavorable opinions.
As the Trump administration and the GOP-majority Congress work toward repealing the ACA, the Kaiser poll found that respondents were split on the healthcare law's potential dismantling. Among respondents, 56 percent were worried about plans to repeal the ACA, while 53 percent were hopeful, and 45 percent were confused.
The survey found that 48 percent of respondents do not want Congress to repeal the ACA, while 28 percent only want a repeal until Republican lawmakers produce the details of their replacement plan, and 18 percent want immediate repeal with the details of a replacement worked out later.
On Feb. 23, a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center also found its highest net approval for the ACA since 2010, with 54 percent of respondents favorable towards the health care law while 43 percent were unfavorable. The new data marks an uptick in popularity for the law over the course of just two months. In December 2016, Pew had found that only 48 percent of respondents approved of the law while 47 percent disapproved.
The survey found that 85 percent of self-identified Democrats approved of the ACA while 89 percent of Republicans disapprove of the health care law. 53 percent of independents approved of the ACA while 45 percent disapproved.
Among the Republicans who disapprove of the ACA, the Pew poll found that 42 percent wanted Congress to modify it, while 44 percent want it dismantled entirely.
On Feb. 23, Vice President Mike Pence pledged that Congress would move swiftly to repeal and replace the ACA.
"Let me assure you, America's Obamacare nightmare is about to end," Pence said during his address before the Conservative Political Action Conference, Politico reports.
That same day, former House Speaker John Boehner asserted that Congress was unlikely to outright repeal the ACA but instead modify it.
"They'll fix Obamacare, and I shouldn't have called it repeal and replace because that's not what's going to happen," Boehner said during a healthcare conference in Orlando, Florida. "They're basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it... Most of the Affordable Care Act, in the framework, is going to stay there."