About 1/3 of those who support eliminating ACA individual mandate via tax reform switch to opposing it after presented with facts/arguments
- As Republicans in Congress continue efforts to pass tax reform, the November Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examines views of the plans and how they relate to health care issues. Overall, reforming the tax code is seen as a “top priority” for President Trump and Congress by about three in ten (28 percent), falling well-behind several health care issues such as reauthorizing funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (62 percent) and stabilizing the ACA marketplaces (48 percent). Among Republicans, about half (51 percent) say reforming the tax code is a “top priority” which is similar to the share who say the same about providing funding for places in the U.S. affected by hurricanes (52 percent), repealing the ACA (50 percent), reauthorizing CHIP (46 percent), stabilizing the ACA marketplaces (46 percent), and addressing the prescription painkiller epidemic (46 percent).
- One possible change in a Republican tax plan is eliminating the deduction allowed for high medical costs. The majority of the public (68 percent) – including majorities of Democrats (77 percent), independents (66 percent), and Republicans (61 percent) – oppose eliminating the tax deduction for individuals who have high health care costs. One reason why the majority of the public may oppose eliminating the tax deduction for high medical expenses is because more than four in ten (44 percent) think eliminating this tax deduction would affect them and their families.
- The majority of the public (55 percent) support the idea of eliminating the requirement for all Americans to have health insurance or else pay a fine as part of the Republican tax plan. Views are largely driven by party with three-fourths of Republicans (73 percent) and six in ten independents (58 percent) supporting eliminating the individual mandate, while the majority of Democrats (59 percent) oppose eliminating the requirement as part of the Republican tax plan. Attitudes towards this idea are malleable with the share of the public who oppose eliminating the individual mandate growing to 62 percent when hearing that most people get their coverage through their employer or a public insurance program and therefore are not affected by the requirement.
- Looking to the political landscape and the 2018 midterm elections, the public is divided in their views of which could prove to be a bigger deal for President Trump and Republicans in Congress: not passing a tax reform plan or not repealing the ACA. Nearly half of the public say it will be a bigger problem if the president and Republicans are unable to pass their tax reform plan (47 percent), which is similar to the share who say it will be a bigger problem if they have not repealed the ACA (44 percent). Republicans are also divided with half saying it will be a bigger problem if President Trump and Republicans are unable to repeal the ACA compared to a similar share who say it will be a bigger problem if they are unable to pass their tax reform plan (45 percent).
Current Priorities for President Trump and Congress
When asked about a series of things that President Trump and Congress might try to do in the coming months, about six in ten of the public say reauthorizing funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (62 percent) and providing funding for places in the U.S. affected by hurricanes (61 percent) should each be a “top priority.” This is followed by half (48 percent) who say stabilizing the ACA marketplaces where people who don’t get health insurance through their employer can buy coverage should be a “top priority” and four in ten (43 percent) who say addressing the prescription painkiller addiction epidemic should be a “top priority” for President Trump and Congress. Other issues, like strengthening immigration controls (35 percent) and passing legislation to allow Dreamers to stay in the U.S. (34 percent) have about a third of the public reporting each should be a “top priority.”
Despite the recent attention given to the Republican tax reform plan, it falls lower on the list of the public’s priorities, with about three in ten (28 percent) saying it should be a “top priority.” It ranks similar to repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) with about three in ten (29 percent) saying it should be a “top priority.” The share who say repealing the 2010 health care law should be a “top priority” for President Trump and Congress has decreased over the past year (down from 37 percent in December 2016). Among Republicans, the share who say repealing the ACA is a top priority has decreased 13 percentage points over the past year, from 63 percent in December 2016 to 50 percent this month.
Read more: https://www.kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-november-2017-the-role-of-health-care-in-the-republican-tax-plan/?utm_campaign=KFF-2017-November-Poll-Tax-Reform-Vote&utm_content=63288026&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter