Patients, providers deeply divided over Affordable Care Act

While the new Republican majority in Congress has vowed to repeal or rework the law, President Barack Obama has said he would veto any such efforts.

Patients, providers deeply divided over Affordable Care Act
Patients, providers deeply divided over Affordable Care Act

HealthDay News — Americans — and health-care providers – remain deeply divided over the Affordable Care Act, according to a poll conducted by HealthDay/Harris.

A consistent 30% of Americans favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), although they're outnumbered by a majority of people who like the law as it is (26%) or want to keep the law with some changes (28%), the poll revealed. While the new Republican majority in Congress has vowed to repeal or rework the law, President Barack Obama has said he would veto any such efforts.

Opposition to, or support or, the ACA continues to break down along party lines. The poll found that 54% of Republicans favor the repeal of the law that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face a financial penalty, while only 8% like the law as it is and 25% would like to see it modified. Conversely, 44% of Democrats want the ACA to remain as it stands, with 28% supporting modifications and only 9% in favor of the repeal.

People are less likely to support repeal when asked about the specific provisions of the ACA. For example: 70% of respondents favor the provision that guarantees insurance coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions; 62% like the ability to keep children on their parent's insurance plans until they are aged 26 years, and only 18% want to repeal the health insurance exchanges, which are federal or state-run marketplaces that allow consumers to buy insurance online.

The Clinical Advisor recently conducted a poll measuring nurse practitioner (NP) and physician assistant (PA) attitudes towards the ACA. Overall, public opinion of the law seems to have worsened over time among NP and PA survey respondents, with clinicians reporting they're spending more time on nonclinical administrative tasks, earning less revenue per patient, and believing the ACA is contributing to increasing health-care costs.

A large majority of NP and PA respondents indicated that they believe the law should either be modified or repealed, and most said they think patients have fewer options when it comes to choosing a health-care provider since its inception.

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