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Most Ohio adults want to keep and improve the Affordable Care Act

Dec 31, 2017

DATA SUMMARYDATA TABLES

The Ohio Health Issues Poll is conducted every year to learn more about the health opinions, behaviors and status of adults in Ohio. In 2017, OHIP asked Ohio adults questions to understand their opinions about the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform law that was passed in 2010.

What did OHIP find?

In 2017 OHIP asked, “What would you like to see the U.S. Congress do when it comes to the Affordable Care Act?” This was the first time this question was asked on the poll. Participants could choose “keep and improve the ACA” or “repeal and replace the ACA.” The poll was conducted in July 2017.1

6 in 10 adults want to keep, improve ACA

More than 6 in 10 Ohio adults (62%) said they wanted to keep the Affordable Care Act and try to improve it. Three in 10 Ohio adults (31%) said they wanted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Some survey participants volunteered a different answer. About 3% of Ohio adults said they wanted to repeal only. About 1% said they wanted to keep the ACA as-is. About 4% said they didn’t know.

Responses varied by age. About 7 in 10 younger adults ages 18 to 29 (72%) said they wanted to keep the Affordable Care Act and try to improve it, more than the 6 in 10 adults of other ages who said this.

ACA opinion varies by political party

Opinions about what to do with the Affordable Care Act differed by political party. More than 9 in 10 Democrats (91%) and nearly 7 in 10 Independents (66%) said they would prefer to keep and improve the ACA. Only 4 in 10 Republicans (40%) said this.

About half of Republicans (52%) wanted to repeal and replace the ACA. That compares with only 2 in 10 Independents (19%) and fewer than 1 in 10 Democrats (6%).

Percentage of adults with unfavorable view of ACA declines

OHIP has asked two questions about the ACA since 2014. The first: “Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?”

Since 2014, the percentage of Ohio adults with an unfavorable view of the ACA has declined from 6 in 10 (58%) to 4 in 10 (39%). The percentage of adults with a favorable view has slightly increased from 35% to 41%. And the percentage of adults who said they did not know increased from less than 1 in 10 (7%) to 2 in 10 (20%).
In summer 2017 opinions in Ohio about the law were more negative than opinions across the nation. In August 2017 the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than half of adults nationwide (52%) had a favorable view of the law. About 4 in 10 adults (39%) had an unfavorable view of the law and fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) said they did not know.2

OHIP also asks, “Do you feel you have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact you personally, or not?”

In 2017, nearly 6 in 10 Ohio adults (58%) said they knew enough about the law. This is an increase since 2014 when 4 in 10 (41%) said they knew enough about the law. In 2017, 4 in 10 Ohio adults (41%) said they did not know enough about the law. This has declined from nearly 6 in 10 (59%) in 2014.

Why do we ask these questions?

Public opinion has been divided about the ACA since it passed in March 2010. However, this public opinion has changed over time. In 2017 the ACA and healthcare reform has often been in the news as Congress has proposed and debated changes to and replacements of the ACA.

By asking Ohio adults their opinion of the ACA, over time we can track changes in public opinion. These questions can also help inform policymakers about the opinions of their constituents.


1 In July 2017, the ACA was often in the news as the U.S. Senate actively debated various versions of a replacement for the ACA. These replacements did not pass. For details about the events of July 2017, see http://www.healthreformtracker.org/ahca-timeline/.

2 The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, August 2017. Accessed September 2017, from https://www.kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-august-2017-the-politics-of-aca-repeal-and-replace-efforts/.

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