The Independent Poll: Voters narrowly favor repealing ACA, split on timeline

As congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump prepare to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a plurality of Nevada voters narrowly support dismantling the health insurance law.

Voters were more split on whether or not to immediately repeal the law or wait until a replacement plan is formed, according to results of an Independent Poll conducted between Jan. 12 and 15.

Forty-nine percent of voters thought Congress should vote to repeal the law, with 44 percent saying they should not vote to repeal it and 7 percent unsure.

Voters were asked the following two-part question:

“Thinking specifically about the 2010 health care law, also known as the Affordable Care Act and sometimes referred to as Obamacare… Do you think the next Congress should vote to repeal the 2010 health-care law, or should they not vote to repeal it?”

Poll respondents who supported repealing the law were then asked this question, which rotated in order:

“Should lawmakers vote to repeal the law immediately and work out the details of a replacement plan later, or should lawmakers wait to vote to repeal the law until the details of a
replacement plan have been announced?”

Voters were split on the timing — 48 percent of those supporting an ACA repeal said it should happen immediately with details worked out later, while 49 percent said Congress should wait until a replacement plan is announced.

Opinions on repeal in general broke across party lines: Democrats largely opposed it (79 percent opposed to 16 percent support) with Republicans largely in favor of dismantling the law (74 to 19 percent). Self-described Independents were more likely to favor Congress voting to repeal the law (57 to 34 percent) but were split on the timing (26 percent favoring an immediate vote and 29 percent wanting to wait for a replacement.)

Women were more likely to oppose repealing the law (45 percent support to 47 percent opposed) than men (53 percent support to 42 percent opposed), with young women more likely to oppose repeal (43 percent support to 51 percent opposed).

Voters over 40 were more likely to favor repealing the law, with 52 percent supporting repeal and 42 percent opposed.

Poll respondents in GOP-heavy rural Nevada largely favored repealing the law by a 61 to 33 percent margin, while opinions were more split in Democratic-dominated Las Vegas (47 percent supporting repeal to 46 percent opposed) and swing county Reno (45 to 48 percent.)

A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that repealing the law could leave up to 18 million people uninsured nationwide, though a replacement Republican plan could dampen the impact.

Nevada has also seen its uninsured population drop from 22.6 percent to 12.3 percent since Gov. Brian Sandoval decided to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2012.

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted with live interviewers between Jan. 12 and 15, and has a margin of error of 4 percent, with a 95 percent level of confidence.

The Nevada Independent will release more poll results throughout the week, including details on how voters feel about moving the state capital out of Carson City. Full poll results and crosstabs will be published on Sunday.

The Mellman Group is an opinion research firm that has done polling for former Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Steny Hoyer and other political and corporate clients, including many in Nevada. FiveThirtyEight gives the group a “B” grade in their ranking of pollsters and says their polls historically tilt slightly Democratic.

Editor Jon Ralston explains why The Nevada Independent hired Mellman in a blog post here.

Earlier poll stories:

The Independent Poll: Voters divided over ESAs, support more money for education

The Independent Poll: Sandoval popular, voters mixed on Heller, Laxalt

The Independent Poll: Yucca, stadium taxes unpopular with voters

Photo courtesy of White House photographer Pete Souza.