January 28, 2018

MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE...:

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll - January 2018: The Public's Priorities and Next Steps for the Affordable Care Act (Ashley Kirzinger, Bryan Wu, and Mollyann Brodie, 1/28/18, KFF)

Health care is at the top of a group of issues that voters want 2018 midterm candidates to talk about, but it's a much higher priority for Democratic voters (39 percent) and independent voters (32 percent) than Republican voters (13 percent); and a lower priority than other issues among voters living in areas where there are competitive 2018 House, Senate, or Governor races.

The current debate in Congress is about passing a budget to keep the government funded beyond February 8, 2018, in return for a deal on immigration policy and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Providing federal funding for President Trump's plan to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico ranks the lowest (21 percent) among the public's priorities for the president and Congress, well behind other health-related priorities as well as passing DACA legislation. Passing federal funding for a border wall is tied for fourth (of eight priorities) among Republicans (43 percent). [..]

Most believe Medicaid is primarily a government health insurance program that helps people pay for health care while one-fourth (27 percent) believe it is primarily a welfare program. There are partisan differences; overwhelming majorities of Democrats (82 percent) and independents (72 percent) say it is a government health insurance program, while Republicans are divided with about half (51 percent) saying it is a government health insurance program and about half (46 percent) saying Medicaid is primarily a welfare program. [...]

At the start of 2018, the public is more favorable in their views of the ACA, with 50 percent saying they have a favorable view and 42 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. [...]

The majority of the public (61 percent) say since President Trump and Republicans in Congress have made changes to the ACA, they are responsible for any problems with it moving forward, compared to about three in ten (27 percent) who say that because President Obama and Democrats in Congress passed the law, they are responsible for any problems with it.  [...]

In terms of how the public views the legislative priorities for President Trump and Republicans in Congress, passing federal funding for President Trump's plan to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico ranks the lowest among the public (21 percent) - considerably lower than passing a federal budget to prevent a government shutdown (57 percent), stabilizing the ACA marketplaces where people who don't get health insurance through their employer can buy coverage (51 percent), addressing the prescription painkiller addiction epidemic (48 percent), and passing legislation to allow Dreamers to stay in the U.S. (45 percent). [...]

As Congress continues to work on a federal budget, some lawmakers have suggested making cuts to government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Few Americans - regardless of party identification - want to see Congress decrease spending on Social Security (5 percent), Medicare (7 percent), or Medicaid (12 percent).

Posted by at January 28, 2018 7:26 AM

  

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