Congress

New poll shows little support for scrapping Obamacare without a replacement

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 23, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington. "Obamacare" led to health care coverage for some 20 million Americans, including about 4 million Hispanics and 3 million blacks, according to federal statistics. However, its fate is uncertain because of Trump’s vow to repeal and replace it.
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 23, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington. "Obamacare" led to health care coverage for some 20 million Americans, including about 4 million Hispanics and 3 million blacks, according to federal statistics. However, its fate is uncertain because of Trump’s vow to repeal and replace it. ASSOCIATED PRESS

A new poll suggests congressional Republicans may want to tread cautiously as they plot to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that just 1 in 5 Americans support repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, while three quarters of Americans either oppose repeal altogether or want to wait to repeal the law until there are details of what would replace it.

The Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds support for both those Republicans who want to repeal the law and those Democrats who want to keep it: 49 percent said the new Congress should repeal it and 47 percent were opposed.

Republicans are eager to stick to their campaign promises and scrap the law, but some are worried about doing so without a plan to ensure that the millions of Americans who are now covered by the law do not lose coverage.

Both sides are launching campaigns to sway public opinion and the poll by the nonpartisan group that analyzes and researches health care issues found that some Americans are susceptible to changing their minds after hearing counter-arguments.

For example, after hearing pro-repeal arguments about the cost of the law, the share for supporting repeal grows as large as 60 percent. Anti-repeal arguments about people losing coverage, including those with pre-existing conditions drops support for repeal to as low as 27 percent.

The public ranked health care as a top issue for president-elect Donald Trump and the new Congress to address this year. But repealing Obamacare ranks behind other health-care issues, with majorities more focused on cost.

When asked about a series of health care priorities, 67 percent said lowering the amount individuals pay for health care should be a “top priority” for Trump and Congress. Nearly as many - or 61 percent - said lowering the cost of prescription drugs should be a “top priority.”

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