Opposition to Obamacare Repeal Increases, but Support for Republican Reforms Remains Strong

Affordable Care Act

Opposition to Obamacare Repeal Increases, but Support for Republican Reforms Remains Strong

Published on February 09, 2017

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People on Obamacare overwhelmingly support more flexible benefits (89%) and expanded access to tax credits (88%), and they feel they’re paying too much for coverage (78%); however, opposition to an Obamacare repeal increased from 27% to 40% between November 2016 and January 2017 while support for repeal dipped from 50% to 46%
 
eHealth published the results of two voluntary email surveys of eHealth customers who purchased Obamacare-compliant major medical health insurance plans through eHealth.com.
 
Survey results showed people on Obamacare overwhelming support several components of Republican proposals that would allow consumers more freedom in choosing health insurance plans with the benefits they think will best meet their needs.
 
But, between November 2016 and January 2017, opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare) grew significantly, as concerns and uncertainly about the replacement plan became a topic of debate.
 
Highlights from the surveys:
 

  • People want to choose their benefits: Respondents to the January survey felt strongly that people should be able to choose the benefits they want covered under their health insurance plan (89%)
  • Coverage is too costly: In January, 78% of respondents said their health insurance premiums were too expensive; even among respondents who said they used tax credits (Obamacare subsidies) to help them pay for their health plan, 58% still felt their coverage cost too much
  • People want broader access to tax credits: In January, nearly nine-in-ten respondents (88%) indicated support for broader consumer access to tax credits, regardless of their income
  • Increased support for Obamacare: In January 2017, 43% of respondents said that Obamacare had been good for themselves or their family; only 34% felt the same in November
  • Disapproval for Obamacare mandates and penalties: Among January respondents, strong majorities felt that no one should be required to purchase health insurance (60%) or face a tax penalty for going uninsured (67%), though these figures had declined since November (72% and 76% respectively)

Over 4,400 eHealth customers who were enrolled in Obamacare-compliant health plans completed the survey in November 2016.
In January another 1,400 completed the survey. In the survey people were asked a series of questions to gauge how they feel about the Affordable Care Act. People were also asked to report if they had received Obamacare subsidies (also known as advanced premium tax credits).
 
Survey responses with November 2016 and January 2017 comparisons:
 

“Do you support President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to repeal and/or replace Obamacare?”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
Yes – 50% Yes – 46%
No – 27% No- 40%
I don’t know – 23% I don’t know – 14%

 

“Which of the following sentences best expresses your feelings about the cost of your health insurance plan?”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
It’s too expensive – 79% It’s too expensive – 78%
It’s affordable – 21% It’s affordable – 22%

 

“People should get to choose the benefits they want covered by their health insurance plan.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 92% I agree – 89%

 

“People should be able to buy a health insurance plan that doesn’t cover maternity care.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 78% I agree – 76%

 

“People should be able to buy a health insurance plan that doesn’t cover brand name prescription drugs.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 73% I agree – 61%

 

“People should be able to buy a health insurance plan that doesn’t cover pediatric services.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 78% I agree – 79%

 

“People should be able to buy a plan that doesn’t cover mental health care.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 60% I agree – 59%

 

“When it comes to ‘Trumpcare,’ what issue are you most interested in or do you have the most questions about?”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES* JANUARY RESPONSES*
Pre-existing conditions – 26% Pre-existing conditions – 36%
Refundable tax credits / subsidies – 18% Refundable tax credits / subsidies -11%
Buying across state lines – 17% Buying across state lines – 16%
No mandate/penalty for being uninsured – 15% No mandate/penalty for being uninsured – 12%
Other – 9% Other – 14%
Medicare – 8% Medicare – 6%
Small business coverage – 7% Small business coverage – 6%
Medicaid block grants – 1% Medicaid block grants – 0%

 

“People should not be denied health insurance because they have a pre-existing medical condition.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 82% I agree – 92%

 

“No one should be legally required to buy health insurance.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 72% I agree – 60%

 

“No one should pay a tax penalty for being uninsured.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 76% I agree – 67%

 

“Adult children should be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26.”
NOVEMBER RESPONSES JANUARY RESPONSES
I agree – 68% I agree – 73%

 
Methodology – These results are based on a voluntary nationwide email survey of eHealth customers conducted between November 22 and November 23, 2016, and again between January 19 and January 20, 2017. More than 5,700 responses were collected between November 2016 and January 2017.
All survey requests were emailed to individuals who bought an individual or family health insurance plan through eHealth.com, eHealth’s non-government health insurance marketplace.
In the survey people were to self-report whether or not they received advanced premium tax credits (Obamacare subsidies). Some of the wording and formatting of survey questions and answers were paraphrased or otherwise modified for readability and presentation in this press release.
 
Notes:
 
*Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
 
 

We’ll let you know when we publish anything new.