Voters overwhelmingly want to see last year’s healthcare law changed, but there is substantial disagreement about how best to do it.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75 percent of Likely U.S. Voters want to change the law, while only 18 percent want it left alone.
Those figures include 20 percent who want the law repealed and nothing done to replace it, 28 percent who want it repealed and then have its most popular provisions put into a new law and 27 percent who say leave the law in place but get rid of the unpopular provisions.
It is worth noting that a majority (55 percent) take one of the middle ground approaches — repeal and replace or leave it and improve.
Overall, 48 percent take an approach that starts with repeal. That’s lower than support for repeal measured generally in Rasmussen Reports weekly tracking polls on the subject. It is likely that some people who prefer repeal when there are no other options for change are drawn to the idea of leaving the law in place and removing the unpopular provisions.
Just after Election Day in early November, 52 percent of voters said Congress should review the healthcare bill piece by piece and keep the parts it likes. Thirty-nine percent disagreed and said Congress should scrap the whole bill and start all over again.
The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on Jan. 11-12, 2011, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points.
Most Republicans and unaffiliated voters prefer to start with repeal. Most Democrats prefer to start by leaving the law in place. Republicans are fairly evenly divided between repealing the law and doing nothing or repealing the law and putting its popular provisions into a new law. Democrats are fairly evenly divided between leaving the law alone or starting with the existing law and removing the unpopular provisions.
Not surprisingly, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives favors starting with repeal, while the Democratic-controlled Senate prefers to start by leaving the existing law in place and possibly considering improvements.
Most government workers prefer to start with the existing law in place, while most entrepreneurs prefer to start with repeal. Those who work for others in the private sector are more evenly divided. Most voters under 30 prefer to start with the existing law in place, while most over 50 prefer to start with repeal.
From the beginning, polling has shown that some portions of the law are popular. However, the cost and means of paying for the law are unpopular as is the individual mandate.
The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the law will increase government spending but reduce the deficit. Most voters believe the program will cost more than projected and increase the federal budget deficit.
The majority of voters oppose the requirement in the new law that every American must buy or obtain health insurance.
Voters with insurance are evenly divided on whether the new law will force them to change their own insurance coverage.