Health Care Reform, Two Years In

The American public doesn’t share conservatives’ appetite for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, writes Ruy Teixeira.

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It’s the second birthday of the Affordable Care Act, the landmark bill that reformed our health care system. Since the day it was signed, however, conservatives have unanimously denounced it as a heinous socialist takeover of health care that must be repealed immediately, if not sooner. Two years in, they have made little progress in convincing the American public of their viewpoint.

Consider first the results of a new Bloomberg poll. Respondents were asked whether we should either repeal health care reform, see how it works and then perhaps make small modifications, or leave it alone. A solid majority (57 percent) said we should either see how it works (46 percent) or leave it alone (11 percent). Only 37 percent favored repeal.

public wants to keep health reform

The latest Pew Research Center poll has a very similar result. Fifty-three percent of respondents said the health care law should either be expanded (33 percent) or left as is (20 percent), compared to only 38 percent who thought it should be repealed.

public wants to keep health reform

These data suggest that the American public does not share conservatives’ appetite for repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Two years in, the public is more interested in keeping—and perhaps expanding—health care reform than getting rid of it.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

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Ruy Teixeira

Former Senior Fellow

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