When President Donald Trump assumed office on January 20, one of his first orders of business is to espouse to his Republican party mates in Congress the repeal of the Obamacare.
While Republican legislators were saying that they will work to replace the Obamacare law with a better policy, more than one month have passed since Trump became the 45th president of the United States, they have not agreed on any legislation thus far.
However, it seems that the party now has a good impetus to work on repealing the law and changing it with a better one in light of a recent survey showing that approximately one-third of Americans actually do not now that Obamacare is the same as the Affordable Care Act or ACA.
Apparently, there seems to be a major confusion about the US health law and has become persistent now that Obamacare is under scrutiny from the new ruling party.
It can be recalled that several years ago, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel poked fun in his show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” at people who thought Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were different, and similar examples spread on social media last month after Congress paved the way for the law’s repeal, reports the New York Times.
Public debate over health care policy
The ongoing confusion on Obamacare is actually expected to affect the public debate over American health care policy.
If many Americans believe that repealing Obamacare would not affect the popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, they might not understand the potential consequences of the proposals being considered in Washington.
In fact, in the survey, it was shown that only 61% of adults knew that many people would lose coverage through Medicaid or subsidies for private health insurance if the Obamacare was repealed and no replacement law is enacted.
In contrast, approximately one in six Americans, or 16%, said that coverage through Medicaid and subsidies that help people buy private health insurance would not be affected by the repeal, and 23% did not know.
Awareness of the policy consequences of the law’s repeal without replacement differed especially sharply along partisan lines.
Though Republicans were more likely to know that Obamacare is another name for the Affordable Care Act, only 47% of them said expanded Medicaid coverage and private insurance subsidies would be eliminated under repeal while 29% said Medicaid and subsidies would not be affected and 24% said they didn’t know. Interestingly, 79% of Democrats know the impact of the repeal of the Obamacare.
Despite this widespread confusion, Republicans in Congress have recently started to veer away from the repeal of Obamacare as the politics of the issue have become more difficult.
Morning Consult conducted the survey on January 25 and January 26 from a national sample of 1,890 American adults.
Interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.
Perception as two different policies
Based on the survey, 17% of Americans believe that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are two different policies, while 18% said they did not know whether they were the same or different, notes the Business Insider.
The information gap also showed up when the respondents were asked about their approval of the law. When asked whether they approved or disapproved of Obamacare, Americans were split, as 45% approved and 46% disapproved.
When asked, however, whether they supported the Affordable Care Act, 44% of people approved while just 40% disapproved.