• Polling

Two in Three Americans Say Repealing the Affordable Care Act Would Pose Too Great of a Risk

Thursday, December 7, 2023 By Maryann Cousens
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Poll: The Affordable Care Act

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on the level of support for the Affordable Care Act, perceptions of the parties on the issue of health care, and concerns over the future of the Affordable Care Act as it faces threats of repeal.

Three in five Americans view the Affordable Care Act favorably, the highest in Navigator’s five years of tracking.


By a 37-point margin, the majority of Americans say they have favorable views of the Affordable Care Act, with less than one in four holding unfavorable views (61 percent favorable – 24 percent unfavorable), a net 14-point increase in favorability since February of 2020 (net +23; 54 percent favorable – 31 percent unfavorable) and a net 36-point increase in favorability since June 2019 (net +1; 46 percent favorable – 45 percent unfavorable). “Obamacare” is also viewed favorably by only a 15-point margin (net +15; 54 percent favorable – 39 percent unfavorable), and while more popular, slightly fewer Americans have heard of the Affordable Care Act (85 percent) than Obamacare (93 percent).

  • Independents are favorable towards the Affordable Care Act by a 30-point margin (55 percent favorable – 25 percent unfavorable) and nearly two in five Republicans view it favorably (net -10; 37 percent favorable – 47 percent unfavorable).
  • Three in five Americans working blue collar jobs (61 percent) or service industry jobs (65 percent) are also favorable towards the Affordable Care Act.

President Biden and the Democratic Party continue to be more trusted than Republicans to do a better job on the issue of health care.


By a 14-point margin, Americans trust Joe Biden and Democrats over the Republican Party on the issue of health care (net +14; 50 percent Biden/Democrats – 36 percent Republicans), including among independents by a 16-point margin (net +16; 40 percent Biden/Democrats – 24 percent Republicans). 

  • Two in three Black Americans (66 percent) and Asian American and Pacific Islanders (65 percent) say Biden and Democrats do a better job when it comes to handling health care than the Republican Party.
  • While both men and women trust Biden and Democrats to handle health care, Biden and Democrats have more trust among women (net +17; 50 percent Biden/Democrats – 33 percent Republicans) than men (net +10; 49 percent Biden/Democrats – 39 percent Republicans).

Despite its overwhelming popularity, majorities say Republicans would repeal the Affordable Care Act if given the chance.


Two in three say if Donald Trump wins the White House and Republicans have control of Congress, it is likely they would repeal the Affordable Care Act (67 percent), including a majority of Republicans (60 percent) and independents (54 percent). 

  • Seven in ten agree more with the statement that “repealing the Affordable Care Act is too much of a risk… Congress shouldn’t cut health care for 30 million Americans and take away health care protections for people with preexisting conditions… instead, they should improve and strengthen health care to lower costs” (71 percent) compared to just 29 percent who think the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and terminated.  Nearly nine in ten Democrats (88 percent), three in four earning less than $50,000 per year (74 percent), 72 percent of Americans in service industry jobs, seven in ten independents (70 percent), and half of Republicans (51 percent) agree more that repealing the Affordable Care Act is too much of a risk.
  • In a different test between two statements, two in three agree more with the statement “the Affordable Care Act is our settled health care system, and it is working for millions of Americans… it is too big of a risk to make this kind of drastic change which would cut health care for 30 million Americans and take away health care protections for people with preexisting conditions” (67 percent) compared to just 33 percent who think the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. Nine in ten Democrats (91 percent), seven in ten independents (72 percent), and two in five Republicans (39 percent) agree more that the Affordable Care Act is our settled health care system.
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Majorities – Including Republicans – Say It Is Likely Trump and Republicans Would Repeal the Affordable Care Act
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Emphasizing the Risk Posed By Repeal & the ACA as Our “Settled Health Care System” Are Effective Rebuttals to Repeal

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org