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Majority Support Obamacare Despite Trump's Supreme Court Bid to Kill ACA

Newsweek logo Newsweek 6/26/2020 Jacob Jarvis
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump walks to the White House residence after exiting Marine One on the South Lawn on June 25, 2020. He has previously spoken negatively of Obamacare. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images U.S. President Donald Trump walks to the White House residence after exiting Marine One on the South Lawn on June 25, 2020. He has previously spoken negatively of Obamacare.

The Trump administration's call for the Supreme Court to eradicate Obamacare flies against public opinion, with the majority of Americans still supporting it.

In a legal brief issued Thursday, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argues the individual mandate mandate is unconstitutional following the removal of penalties in 2017. The filing states this mandate is inseverable from other provisions in the Affordable Care Act, frequently referred to as Obamacare, concluding "the entire ACA thus must fall."

It comes just weeks after President Donald Trump branded Obamacare "a disaster," confirming a desire to repeal it.

"Obamacare, we run it really well... but running it great, it's still lousy healthcare," he said.

The move could see an estimated 20 million people lose healthcare coverage, while it would also eliminate protections for millions of others with pre-existing conditions.

Despite Trump's negative views of the ACA, polls indicate most Americans still support it.

A Fox News Poll, which interviewed 1,343 registered voters nationwide between June 13 and 16, found 56 percent had a favorable view of Obamacare. Of those 30 percent were strongly in favor and 26 percent somewhat. This was a record high for Fox News polling.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Health Tracking Poll has also consistently found support for Obamacare at over 50 percent in recent months. Its latest survey found 51 percent had a favorable view, in a poll conducted among 1,189 adults in the U.S. over the phone between May 13 and 18.

In February, KFF's polling saw a peak in support at 55 percent, at the time stating "a clear majority" viewed the law favorably. The survey was conducted over telephone between 1,207 adults in the U.S. between February 13 and 18th.

While polling would appear to indicate support for the ACA, the move to do away with has also swiftly been condemned by Democrats.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, commenting on the lawsuit to eradicate Obamacare ahead of its filing, said: "It's cruel, it's heartless, it's callous."

a man wearing glasses talking on a cell phone: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act during an event at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Biden met with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and made remarks on his plan for affordable healthcare. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images © Joshua Roberts/Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act during an event at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Biden met with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and made remarks on his plan for affordable healthcare. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Biden, who is leading in the polls ahead of the election in November, added in a speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania: "If Donald Trump won't end his senseless crusade against health coverage, I look forward to ending it for him."

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also described the action as cruel.

She said: "President Trump and the Republicans' campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty.

"If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the ACA's lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely. There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump Administration's disastrous efforts to take away Americans' health care."

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said it would be a "catastrophe" if the lawsuit was successful.

She tweeted: "A lot has changed in our country over the past few months—yet even amid a pandemic, President Trump's dangerous commitment to attacking families' health care hasn't wavered. Make no mistake: a GOP victory in their partisan lawsuit would be a catastrophe."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), reacting to the Supreme Court action, tweeted: "We need to be guaranteeing health care for all, not gutting it from millions."

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) said the administration should be "focused on helping the country through a global health crisis," while adding he felt they were instead "continuing their shameless sabotage of our health system."

"There is no logical reason to threaten critical protections for those with pre-existing conditions or to dismantle the law and drive up costs system-wide. Americans are relying on their health insurance now more than ever," he said in a statement.

Neal added that he felt the COVID-19 crisis should have given weight to enhancing Obamacare, not dismantling it.

"If this crisis has taught us anything, it is that our focus should be on enhancing the ACA and doing everything we can to make accessing health care easier," he said.

The White House and the lawmakers mentioned have been contacted for comment.

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