- The September Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, fielded largely prior to the most recent Republican effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, finds three-fourths of the public saying it is important for Congress to work on reauthorizing funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health care coverage for uninsured children. Democrats prioritize reauthorizing CHIP funding and stabilizing the ACA marketplaces, with at least eight in ten saying each is an important priority for Congress to work on now. These are also the highest-ranking priorities among independents, with about seven in ten saying the same about both reauthorizing CHIP and stabilizing the marketplaces. Republicans, on the other hand, are more likely to prioritize continuing efforts to repeal and replace the ACA, with 71 percent saying that is important for Congress to do now.
- In general, Republicans are more likely to want Republicans in Congress to focus on repeal efforts than on improving the way the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working (66 percent v. 28 percent), while most Democrats want Democrats in Congress to focus on improving the way the ACA is working (52 percent) rather than trying to pass a national health care plan (43 percent). A majority of independents want Democrats and Republicans in Congress to focus their efforts on improving the way the ACA is working rather than focusing on either a national health care plan or repealing the ACA.
- Half of the public thinks the ACA marketplaces are “collapsing.” One proposed step Congress could take to stabilize the markets and control costs for people who purchase their own plans is to guarantee cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurance companies. The Trump Administration has said they may stop making these payments, which has led to insurance companies saying they may raise premiums or stop participating in the marketplaces. Two-thirds of the public – including majorities of Democrats and independents – say Congress should guarantee the CSR payments in order to help stabilize the insurance market while about three in ten of the overall public and about half of Republicans (53 percent) say these payments constitute bailouts to the insurance companies and should be stopped. Overall, about seven in ten Americans are not confident that President Trump and Congress will be able to work together to make improvements to the ACA marketplaces.
- Overall views of the ACA are once again divided, with 46 percent expressing a favorable view and 44 percent expressing an unfavorable view. While overall favorability increased over the past year, this month finds a return to a divided public that characterizes most of the last seven years.
- This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examines public support for a variety of competing health care policies aimed at improving or replacing the 2010 health care law, including plans to allow people to “buy in” to Medicaid or Medicare.
After the Senate failed to pass a bill to repeal parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) in late-July, some lawmakers have turned their attention to various competing national health policy issues, including efforts to stabilize the ACA marketplaces, proposals to create a single-payer health care system, and the reauthorization of funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), while some have continued to focus on repealing and replacing the ACA. This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examines how Americans are prioritizing the competing health care issues as well as their attitudes toward possible changes to the current health care system.
What Should Congress Work on Now?
Congress has a number of competing priorities for the month of September, and when asked about several of the issues they may address this month, a large majority of the public see reauthorizing funding for CHIP and passing legislation to stabilize the ACA marketplaces as important priorities for Congress to work on now. Specifically, three-fourths of the public (75 percent) say it is “extremely” or “very” important for Congress to work on reauthorizing funding for CHIP, the program which provides health care coverage for uninsured children. This is followed by seven in ten (69 percent) who say the same about passing legislation to stabilize the ACA marketplaces in order to minimize premium increases and encourage more insurers to offer health plans. Fewer, but still about half, say it is “extremely” or “very” important for Congress to work on reforming the tax code, which may cut taxes for some individuals (49 percent), or work on continuing efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law (47 percent).
Link to full article: http://www.kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-september-2017-whats-next-for-health-care/?utm_campaign=KFF-2017-September-Tracking-Poll&utm_content=60710675&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter