New polling indicates that one-third of Americans do not realize that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are one in the same. The data signals that a sizable minority of Americans have been operating on the belief that Obamacare, which was a nickname for the ACA, is a separate health care law when that is not the case.
On Feb. 7, a survey conducted by Morning Consult found that 35 percent of national adults were uncertain of whether or not Obamacare and the ACA were the same law -- 17 percent of respondents believed that they are separate and distinct health care laws while 18 percent were not sure, The New York Times reports.
The ACA was passed in 2010. Considered to be former President Barack Obama's most impactful domestic legislation, the health care law was nicknamed Obamacare. That moniker has been a term of endearment for the law's supporters and a term of derision for its opponents.
The poll found that only 61 percent of respondents understood that some Americans would lose their Medicaid benefits and health insurance coverage if the ACA was repealed without an immediate replacement. Meanwhile, 45 percent of respondents said that they did not know that ACA repeal was imminent.
Following the 2016 presidential election, GOP lawmakers had listed the repeal and replacement of the ACA as their top priority in President Donald Trump's administration. On Jan. 4, Vice President Mike Pence asserted that the election had been an unofficial referendum on the health care law.
"We're going to keep our promise to the American people -- we're going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with solutions that lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government," Pence said, according to CNN.
While Republicans had initially vowed to repeal the ACA within the first months of 2017, that timetable has been broadened amid GOP lawmakers reportedly struggling to agree on a replacement health care system. On Feb. 6, Trump revealed that repealing and replacing the ACA could occur as late as 2018.
Trump said he'd like to see it gone "by the end of the year," according to Fox News. The president added that "Obamacare is a disaster."
On Jan. 31, former Republican Rep. Richard Hanna of New York, who recently retired from public office, predicted that his GOP colleagues would not repeal the ACA, asserting that they are now "scrambling to figure out what they meant for six years (of repeal attempts) and what it was they had in their heads to replace it with, which was largely non-existent."
"At the end of the day, the Affordable Care Act will in some form survive, and the millions of people who are on it will have insurance," Hanna told Syracuse.com. "It's something this country needed and something people want."
Hanna asserted that Obama would have the last laugh after years of Republican lawmakers campaigning to repeal his signature domestic policy.
"Politically, it's untenable to just wipe it away," Hanna said of the ACA. "So who really won? In my argument ... Obama, won. At the end of the day we will have some national healthcare that's going to look very similar to what we have."