Despite the bumpy healthcare.gov rollout and constant attacks by Republicans, most Americans don’t want the Affordable Care Act repealed.
A Kaiser tracking poll released Friday morning finds 47% of those asked want to see the law expanded or kept as is, with slightly more supporting the status quo. By contrast, only 37% wanted the law repealed. Respondents were given the option to choose if they wanted the law repealed and replaced with a Republican alternative or simply repealed with no replacement legislation, and the hypothetical Republican replacement plan turned out to be the least popular answer, with only 13% supporting such a path. More people (16%) said they had no opinion at all.
Among Republicans, only 29% support repealing the law and replacing it with a plan from their party, while 42% just want the law repealed and nothing else. Democrats are most likely to want to expand the law (40%) although keeping it as is came in a very close second place (39%).
That’s not the only bad news for Republicans coming from the poll. It turns out far more Americans have been paying attention to the government shutdown than the problems with the insurance exchange rollout. Three quarters of respondents said they followed the fight over the government shutdown and debt ceiling either very closely (44%) or fairly closely (31%). That’s higher than the number who said they followed the economy very or fairly closely during the same period. On the other hand, just about half said they paid attention to news coverage of the technical glitches associated with the website very closely (22%) or fairly closely (31%).
Of those who paid attention to stories about the website’s glitches, nearly half give the federal government a “poor” grade for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act so far. Only one in three gave the “fair” grade, less than 1 in 5 said “good” and a mere 2% said “excellent.”
In general, despite the “poor” rollout, opinions on the Affordable Care Act remain largely unchanged, with 44% saying they have an unfavorable view of the law and 38% saying they favor it. Those favorable ratings have been roughly since the question was first asked in February. That relatively static report contrasts with an NBC/WSJ poll released earlier this week which found support for the law has declined over the last month.