Poll: Minorities Provide Bulk of Support for Obamacare

United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds only 16 percent of nonwhites think Congress should repeal the health reform law.

Obamacare supporters react to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama's health care law, on June 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court upheld the whole healthcare law of the Obama Administration.
National Journal
Alex Roarty
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Alex Roarty
Nov. 21, 2013, 3 p.m.

Minor­it­ies con­tin­ue to of­fer a bul­wark of sup­port for the Af­ford­able Care Act, ac­cord­ing to the latest United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll.

But the deep­en­ing dis­crep­ancy between their views of Obama­care and their sup­port for Pres­id­ent Obama’s reelec­tion last year shows skep­ti­cism about wheth­er the big so­cial-wel­fare pro­gram has worked touched even the White House’s most ar­dent sup­port­ers.

A bat­tery of ques­tions about who be­ne­fits from the health care law, wheth­er it should be re­pealed, and what’s to blame for its rocky rol­lout all re­veal a por­tion of the elect­or­ate that’s far more fa­vor­able to the sweep­ing re­form than the coun­try over­all and their white coun­ter­parts. Giv­en the strong Demo­crat­ic lean of that group, their sup­port is not a sur­prise.

Asked about the im­ple­ment­a­tion of the law, 62 per­cent of non­whites said “the law is ex­per­i­en­cing tem­por­ary prob­lems and will ul­ti­mately pro­duce a bet­ter health care sys­tem.” Just 39 per­cent of whites think the same, while 46 per­cent of all adults share that view.

Not sur­pris­ingly then, just a tiny slice of minor­it­ies — 16 per­cent — think Con­gress should re­peal Obama­care. Forty-two per­cent say law­makers should wait and see how things go be­fore mak­ing ad­just­ments, and 37 per­cent urge them to provide more money for im­ple­ment­a­tion. Among the total pop­u­la­tion, sup­port for out­right re­peal of the law is nearly twice as high, at 38 per­cent. Nearly half of whites, 48 per­cent, feel that way.

Most re­spond­ents doubt the ACA be­ne­fits any­one oth­er than the poor and those without in­sur­ance ““ in­clud­ing a scant 42 per­cent who say it helps the coun­try over­all. But sol­id ma­jor­it­ies of minor­it­ies be­lieve the law helps a wide ar­ray of people, in­clud­ing the middle class (58 per­cent) and seni­or cit­izens (62 per­cent). Fifty-eight per­cent of the group say it helps the coun­try over­all. United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll show­ing that there is a strong ra­cial gap on wheth­er the Af­ford­able Care Act is mak­ing things bet­ter or worse for Amer­ic­ans.

In one ques­tion, re­spond­ents were asked what they would want Con­gress to do if many of the es­tim­ated 50 mil­lion cur­rently un­in­sured Amer­ic­an cit­izens couldn’t re­ceive a health care plan through Obama­care. A sol­id ma­jor­ity of minor­it­ies, 61 per­cent, think the gov­ern­ment should “work to try and make the health care law work bet­ter to cov­er more of the un­in­sured,” com­pared with 44 per­cent of the total pop­u­la­tion. Only 8 per­cent of minor­it­ies say the law should be re­pealed and no ef­fort should be made to cov­er the un­in­sured, com­pared with 16 per­cent of adults over­all who say the same. Thirty per­cent of minor­it­ies, mean­while, sup­port a sep­ar­ate op­tion to “re­peal or sig­ni­fic­antly change the law and try a dif­fer­ent way of cov­er­ing the un­in­sured,” com­pared with 38 per­cent over­all who sup­port that strategy. The lat­ter op­tion likely in­cludes sup­port from some re­spond­ents who prefer a sys­tem such as single-pay­er health care, which would en­sure cov­er­age for all Amer­ic­ans.

The re­l­at­ively strong sup­port of minor­it­ies — along with lib­er­al whites — is largely re­spons­ible for whatever sup­port Obama­care still has after the dis­astrous rol­lout of Health­Care.gov. But that doesn’t mean they’re thrilled with the law, either. Roughly 80 per­cent of the coun­try’s non­white vot­ing pop­u­la­tion sup­por­ted Obama over Mitt Rom­ney in 2012. That’s much lar­ger than the per­cent­age of minor­it­ies who think Obama­care is a good idea. Barely half, 51 per­cent, think the law will make things bet­ter for “people like you and your fam­ily.”

The United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll, con­duc­ted by Prin­ceton Sur­vey Re­search As­so­ci­ates In­ter­na­tion­al, sur­veyed 1,013 adults by land­line and cell phone from Nov. 14-17. It has a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or minus 3.6 per­cent­age points.

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