Congress

Obamacare more popular than ever before, poll finds, even as GOP plans to repeal it

People rally against the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act during a gathering in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. It was one of dozens of rallies Democrats staged across the country to denounce Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.
People rally against the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act during a gathering in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. It was one of dozens of rallies Democrats staged across the country to denounce Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law. AP

A new poll suggests President Barack Obama’s besieged health care plan is more popular than it’s ever been, even as congressional Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump prepare to dismantle it.

The poll finds 45 percent of respondents think that the Affordable Care Act is a good idea, the highest percentage since the NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll began asking the question in April 2009.

By contrast, 41 percent of Americans say the health care law is a bad idea, the first time in the poll since the law passed in 2010 where more respondents say it’s a good idea rather than a bad idea.

The poll comes as the Senate and House of Representatives voted last week on legislation that jump-starts the effort to repeal the law and amid worries from some lawmakers that Republicans have yet to agree on a replacement.

Trump said in a weekend interview that he had his own health care plan, though he declined to offer any specifics. He did tell The Washington Post that his goal is “insurance for everybody.”

Half of Americans, however, say they have little to no confidence that Republican proposals to replace the law will improve anything.

Still, the poll suggests the backing is essentially limited to Democrats, who staged protests over the weekend in cities across the country to rally support for the law. The poll found opinions about Obamacare breaking along partisan lines: 90 percent of Democrats say the law is a good idea, versus just 13 percent of Republicans. Among independents, 36 percent say it’s a good idea, while 41 percent say it’s a bad one.

A combined 50 percent of Americans say the law is working well – 6 percent – or needs minor modifications to improve it – 44 percent. Slightly less, or 49 percent, think it needs a major overhaul – 33 percent – or should be totally eliminated – 16 percent.

The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Jan. 12-15 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Lesley Clark: 202-383-6054, @lesleyclark

  Comments