One-third of Americans don't know Obamacare, ACA are same law - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

One-third of Americans don't know Obamacare, ACA are same law

(RNN) – One-third of Americans don’t know that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing, according to a poll by Morning Consult.

It’s not a surprising figure. Confusion over the law’s two names has been lampooned several times since it was passed.

However, it’s a more serious matter now, as President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans prepare to dismantled the healthcare law.

In Morning Consult’s poll, which was published by the New York Times, 35 percent of people didn’t know the two monikers described the same legislation. Some were sure they were separate policies (17 percent). Others were unsure if they were different (18 percent).

The most uninformed subset of respondents were individuals between 18 and 29 and those who earn less than $50,000. The latter group is especially vulnerable if the healthcare legislation is repealed and not replaced.

A Jimmy Kimmel skit from 2013 demonstrates the widespread confusion over Obamacare.

The late-night host revisited the topic again in January.

More than 70 percent of Republicans said they knew Obamacare was another name for the Affordable Care Act, a reflection of the party's long-standing opposition to the law.

What’s more concerning than the name itself is the uncertainty surrounding the consequences of repealing the law.

Roughly 45 percent of individuals did not know Obamacare was slated to be repealed by Congress, and only 61 percent of respondents understood that Medicaid and private insurance subsidies could be lost if no replacement was passed.

Ironically, Obamacare enjoys more popularity now than ever before, despite being under siege by Trump and the GOP.

Since being enacted in 2010, the law has typically been unpopular in polls. An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, which has tracked public opinion on the law since 2009, reported for the first time in January that more people thought Obamacare was a “good idea” than “bad idea.”

The Pew Research Center’s polling after Trump’s election showed that Americans did not solely favor Obamacare, but they fundamentally believed the federal government was responsible for ensuring Americans have health insurance.

Trump campaigned furiously to repeal the law. It was one of his signature campaign promises. He was especially hard on the October 2016 announcement that Obamacare premiums would raise as much as 116 percent in some states.

"Obamacare is blowing up," he said on Oct. 25, 2016. "Even the White House, our president, announced 25 or 26 percent .. that number is so wrong. It's such a phony number. You're talking about 60, 70, 80 percent increases. Obamacare has to be repealed and replaced, and replaced with something much less expensive for the people."

Some of the states with the steepest rate hikes were the swing states of Arizona (116 percent), Pennsylvania (53 percent) and North Carolina (40 percent). Trump won all three of those states despite the Obama administration's argument that the rate hikes would be offset by subsidies.

Since taking the White House, the Trump administration has not nailed down a policy for healthcare. Trump himself has said that parts of the Affordable Care Act could remain intact.

Though there is solidarity between Republicans on repealing the law, there is no single solution for replacing it. Trump, however, has promised that the law will be repealed and replaced "essentially simultaneously."

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