When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said on Wednesday, “We all agree that Obamacare is an abomination,” the “we” he was referring to certainly was not the majority of Americans. In fact, an “intense new majority” of citizens support the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, while only a small minority calls for its repeal or replacement, according to a survey Democracy Corps released Wednesday with the Women’s Voices Women’s Vote Action Fund.
Voters favor implementation and possible improvement of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” than repeal by a 20-point margin (58 percent to 38 percent), the survey says. It proves that opposition to the Affordable Care Act has significantly decreased by a net 10 points since 2010.
Ultimately, when voters were asked whether or not they opposed Obamacare because it “goes too far” or “does not go far enough” in changing health insurance, 53 percent of voters surveyed said they supported the Affordable Care Act or want it to go further, while just 38 percent of respondents opposed its implementation.
The study shows that the strongest support for the Affordable Care Act comes from its focus on protecting consumers from the anti-consumer practices of insurance agencies. Because all health insurance plans must provide standard medical benefits and must cover preventive care for women, support among women in particular has significantly increased. In addition, the fact that insurance agencies will no longer be able to drop consumers when they become sick has rallied much support from voters and is one of the single most popular parts of the law.
Some voters who participated in the study say that it is “too soon to tell” how they are being affected by the law. However, the shift in support parallels the shift in those who have actually experienced personal benefits in the last six months. Many unmarried women, independents, non-college white voters, and seniors are already able to see the effects of the Affordable Care Act. Because of this, one in five unmarried women “moved toward a more positive position on the law.” The report states that the support “is not being driven by partisans aligning their views; this is being driven by the relevance of the changes to people’s lives.”
Another part of the study showed that voters trust Democrats more than Republicans with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. By a 17-point margin, 49 percent to 32 percent, voters will continue to support Democrats to “do a better job in government.” Likewise, 49 percent of all voters say they trust Democrats more to implement the Affordable Care Act, 36 percent strongly. In contrast, just 31 percent say they trust Republicans more, 17 percent strongly.
Republicans’ role in the 16-day shutdown and their views on the Affordable Care Act have done extreme damage to conservative credibility. Forty-seven percent of voters in Republican districts say that they are unlikely to vote for their Republican incumbent. Even among voters who support their Republican representative, 23 percent stated that they were less likely (10 percent say extremely less likely) to vote for their Republican incumbent due to the shutdown.
Many survey respondents view the Affordable Care Act as a “first draft,” which is why they still support its implementation and want to see it refined further, and do not support the conservative effort to repeal it. Also, more people are supporting Obamacare after seeing some of its benefits. The study shows that more voters will continue to support the Affordable Care Act because of its emphasis on protecting citizens from unfair insurance policies. Because of this, voters do not see “Obamacare” as the enemy anymore; instead, they are critical of the insurance companies.
The numbers in this survey are clear. A minority opposes the Affordable Care Act. The majority understands its necessity.