With control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, Republicans now have the opportunity to act on their oft-stated promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and legislation to replace the 2010 law is advancing in the House. In California, PPIC Statewide Surveys have found majorities of adults viewing the Affordable Care Act favorably since 2015. In our January survey, over half opposed repeal.
A slight majority (53%) of Californians said Congress should not vote to repeal the 2010 health care law, including majorities of those living in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%), Orange/San Diego Counties (59%), and Los Angeles County (56%). Statewide, 42% favored repeal, with just over half saying so in the Central Valley (51%) and Inland Empire (52%).
Not surprisingly, there were wide partisan differences on the question of repeal, with 78% of Democrats and 57% of independents opposing repeal and 80% of Republicans in favor. Whether living in coastal or inland counties, Democrats generally opposed repeal and Republicans generally favored it. But independents on the coast (61%) were more likely than independents in inland counties (46%) to oppose repeal.
In response to another question, 51% of Californians expressed a generally favorable opinion of the ACA. The Kaiser Family Foundation found in a survey conducted shortly after ours that adults nationwide held similar views (48% favorable in February). Majorities of adults in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%), Los Angeles County (56%), and Orange/San Diego Counties (53%) view the ACA favorably, compared with 44% and 41% in the Central Valley and Inland Empire, respectively. In California, there is little difference in opinion on the ACA by age or income, with about half across categories expressing a favorable view. White Californians (44%) are less likely to express a generally favorable opinion of the law, while majorities of other racial/ethnic groups hold a favorable view. Whites without a college degree (36%) are even less likely to view the ACA positively, and 60% favor repeal.
Though majorities of adults have viewed the ACA positively in our surveys over the past two years, opinions were more divided in prior surveys. We will continue to monitor Californians’ views as congressional proposals develop and as potential changes to health care in California become clear. Considering the support we found in our most recent survey for state action to address climate change and protect the rights of undocumented immigrants, it will be interesting to see what state action Californians may want to see if the federal government changes its approach to health care policy.
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