January 13, 2017

Key Findings

    In some ways, Americans understand our healthcare system:

  •         Over eight in ten Americans (82%) believe that Americans pay more for healthcare than people in other countries.
  •         At the same time, there is doubt about whether all that money is paying off, with only about a quarter of Americans saying that the American healthcare system produces the best results in the world (26%).

    Even on the ACA, some things are reasonably well understood:

  •         Most (60%) understand the ACA stopped insurers from being able to refuse coverage and that it requires preventative care coverage (62%).
  •     With some facets still poorly understood:
  •         43% “don’t know” if passage of the ACA caused Medicare spending to decrease and 50% “don’t know” if the ACA has limits on end-of-life care.

    However, in a few areas, the polarization of the ACA come through clearly:

  •         41% of Republicans and 54% of Democrats say the number of uninsured has decreased since passage of the ACA.
  •         7% of Republicans and 21% of Democrats think healthcare costs have increased slower since the passage of the ACA.
  •         44% of Republicans and 26% of Democrats believe it is true that the ACA limits end-of-life care.

    When it comes to the provision of healthcare and the effect of the ACA, there are large differences of opinion between Republicans and Democrats:

  •         Three in ten Democrats think that people are responsible for securing their own access to healthcare whereas three quarters of Republicans think that people are responsible for securing their own healthcare
  •         When asked whether, on balance, the ACA has done more good than harm, nearly eight in ten Democrats (79%) answer in the affirmative while only three in ten Republicans (31%) answer in the affirmative

    The new Congress has a narrow road on health care laws:

  •         46% of Americans agree that the repeal of the ACA would affect them personally.
  •         55% of Americans believe the ACA has, on balance, done more good than harm.
  •         55% of Americans agree the US should have a government-paid health insurance system
  •         55% of Americans agree the US should have a government-paid health insurance system.
  •         Only 14% say the ACA should be repealed and not replaced. An additional 31% supports repeal and replace. (44% support keeping the ACA)

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted January 4-5, 2017 on behalf of NPR. For the survey, a sample of 1,011 adults including 383 Democrats, 332 Republics, and 210 Independents from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of ± 3.5 percentage points for all respondents and a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,011, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5). Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income.


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