Health Care Act

Dems, GOP agree: Loss of ACA subsidies would be bad news

Image from Kaiser Family Foundation’s March health tracking poll.
Image from Kaiser Family Foundation’s March health tracking poll.

A poll has finally found common ground among Republicans, Democrats and independents regarding the Affordable Care Act: They agree a Supreme Court decision overturning health insurance subsidies would be bad for the country.

The Kaiser Family Foundation does monthly health tracking polls that repeatedly reveal partisan divides in views of the act, which is often dubbed Obamacare. But the March report, the first done after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could cut off federal aid in North Carolina and 33 other states, found some new areas of agreement.

Even after the high-profile arguments, more than three-quarters of those polled said they know little or nothing about the King v. Burwell case. But a majority in all three political groups said a ruling that restricts the taxpayer-funded subsidies for low- and moderate-income people would have a negative impact on the country and the uninsured.

Among the states that stand to lose subsidies, people of all affiliations were about twice as likely to say a ruling for the plaintiffs would hurt their state as to say it would bring a positive impact.

And if the ruling, which is expected in June, does upend the aid that has brought coverage to hundreds of thousands of people, there’s one more area of common ground: Very few have confidence that Congress will work across party lines or with President Obama to craft a solution. Instead, a majority in all parties are looking to their state leaders to restore the aid if necessary.

For another interesting take on the polling results, see Ronald Brownstein’s National Journal piece about how race remains “an impenetrable dividing line” when it comes to views of the ACA.

Helms: 704-358-5033;

Twitter: @anndosshelms. This blog post is done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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