Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Even Most Republican Voters Say Government Has Responsibility For Healthcare

For Democrats, public policy for using the federal government to make affordable health care available to American workers is an election winner! More than eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (85%) say the federal government should be responsible for health care coverage, compared with just 32% of Republicans and Republican leaners.

Democrats can win by promising American workers a Medicare-for-all "public option" health care coverage. As the debate continues over repeal of the Affordable Care Act and what might replace it, a growing share of Americans believe the federal government has a responsibility to make sure Americans have health care coverage, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The best way to provide universal health care at a sustainable cost is to extend Medicare to everyone, while implementing some needed reforms. Medicare is essentially a single-payer health insurance system for those older than 65 — government-managed but privately delivered. A popular first step that would attract a key block of voters would be to drop the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 55.

A December Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows repealing the Affordable Care Act is not the public’s top health care priority for President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congress. Lowering the amount individuals pay for health care tops the list, with 67% of Americans saying it should be a top priority for the next administration. This is followed by lowering the cost of prescription drugs (61%) and dealing with the prescription-painkiller addiction epidemic (45%). Only 37% of the public says repealing the law should be the administration’s top priority, though views differ widely by party.

The Pew survey found the belief that government has a responsibility to ensure health coverage has increased across many groups over the past year, but the rise has been particularly striking among lower- and middle-income Republicans.

Currently, 52% of Republicans with family incomes below $30,000 say the federal government has a responsibility to ensure health coverage for all, up from just 31% last year. There also has been a 20-percentage-point increase among Republicans with incomes of $30,000-$74,999 (34% now, 14% last year). But there has been no significant change among those with incomes of $75,000 or more (18% now, 16% then).

Repealing Obamacare has turned into a total political nightmare for Republicans. According to a new CBS News poll, only 22% of Americans want the law repealed.
CBS News reported:
Americans are now split in their views of the Affordable Care Act: 48 percent approve of the law, while about as many, 47 percent, disapprove, including 32 percent who disapprove strongly. Nevertheless, the percentage that approves of the law is the highest it has been since the CBS News Poll began asking about it nearly seven years ago.

Among the 22 percent of Americans who want to see the law repealed, 47 percent want the law to be repealed immediately, while half – 50 percent- think it should be repealed only after Congress has agreed on a new health care law to replace it.

Six in ten Americans are very concerned that if the law is repealed before a replacement is enacted, individuals currently covered by the law would not have health insurance. Another 24 percent are somewhat concerned about that.
There is now no political upside for Republicans in repealing Obamacare. Trump is about to begin his presidency with a move that will drive his approval ratings even lower than their current historic lows. For Republicans in Congress, immediately taking away health care from tens of millions of Americans is going to put their seats in immediate jeopardy.

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