WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A majority of Americans say it is important to keep federal funding for an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor under Obamacare, even as Republicans work on repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, according to a poll released on Friday.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid in more than 30 states with the help of increased federal funding, extending health insurance to millions of Americans.
Eighty-four percent of respondents in a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll said it was important that federal support for the expansion remain in place.
The Republican-led Congress and the administration of President Donald Trump have said repealing and replacing the law – under which more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans received health insurance, many through the Medicaid expansion – is a top priority. They have vowed to unveil legislation to begin doing so next month.
Republicans have long opposed Obamacare on grounds it was government overreach and that it simply led to higher insurance premiums for many Americans.
Early Republican proposals have included capping the amount of money states receive for Medicaid programs.
But the Kaiser poll found that the Medicaid expansion has broad bipartisan support. Ninety-five percent of Democrats, 84 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans said it was “very” or “somewhat” important to continue to provide federal funding for the expansion.
In the 16 states with a Republican governor that expanded Medicaid, 87 percent of residents said it was important that federal funding for the expansion be maintained.
The Kaiser poll also found that 48 percent of Americans view the healthcare law favorably while 42 percent view it unfavorably, the highest level of support tracked by Kaiser since 2010.
A poll released on Thursday from the Pew Research Center also found that support for Obamacare had reached a new high, with 54 percent saying they approved of the law.
(Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Matthew Lewis)