Public Says Not So Fast on Repeal

The House acted quickly to repeal health reform, but the public isn’t totally on board, writes Ruy Teixeira.

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The House passed a blanket repeal of the Affordable Care Act last week. Conservatives like to assert that in doing so they are just following the wishes of the public.

But many polls indicate that support for repeal is very soft indeed. The fact is people like a great deal about the new health care reform law and are reluctant to give up these advances. Consider these results from the latest CBS/New York Times survey. Forty-eight percent of those polled said they preferred to let the new law stand compared to 40 percent who wanted to see it repealed. The latter figure is obviously significant and, in fact, has been up to 10 points higher in other surveys.

nyt poll results

But the CBS/NYT poll went on to ask respondents who said they supported repeal whether they would still support repeal if that meant insurance companies were no longer required to cover those with pre-existing medical conditions. This query reduced the number supporting complete repeal to just 21 percent.

abc poll results

Conservatives clearly believe the new law goes too far and that it should be repealed in its entirety. But, contrary to their assertions, the public is not on board.

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 Former Senior Fellow

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