After more than six years since it was signed into law by President Obama, and three years since its rollout, the Affordable Care Act is struggling to win a place in the hearts of many Americans. The last time Pew ran the survey, in 2015, people were pretty evenly split in their assessments of the law. Since then, however, they have started to like it less and less:
Digging deeper into the numbers, you can see that the law is most popular with black and Hispanic voters, and with younger voters as well. Republican support has fallen off a cliff, with only 9 percent in favor, while support among Democrats has actually edged up, from 77 to 78 percent. Independent support edged down by 6 percentage points.
Obamacare has always a partisan issue, and it’s only becoming more so, with its supporters roughly making up the core of the Democratic coalition. Tepid support among independent voters must be of concern to Dem leaders, but is perhaps attenuated by solid support among minorities. (44 percent of Hipsanics identified as independents in a recent Pew poll, for example.)
If Hillary Clinton wins in November, we can expect very little appetite in the White House for any kind of thoroughgoing reforms (unless, of course, events intervene and the whole system truly starts to totter). And that could indicate that the party lines will harden even more, making the ACA a prime candidate for political football for many an election to come.