Despite the rhetorical winds blowing out of Washington, 92% of Americans believe that they have the right to affordable health care, according to a recent survey by the Commonwealth Fund.

Political affiliation, it turns out, does not appear to determine support for such a right. Democrats aged 19-64 years voiced their support to the tune of 99% in favor of a right to affordable care, compared with 82% of Republicans and 92% of independents, the Commonwealth Fund said in a survey brief released March 1.

All other population subsets included in the survey also gave strong support to the right to affordable care: 96% of those below 250% of the poverty level and 88% of those at or above 250% of the poverty level; 89% of men and 95% of women; 90% of whites and 97% of blacks and Hispanics; and 91% of those in the Midwest and South, 92% in the East, and 93% of those in the Northeast, the Commonwealth Fund reported.

“This survey’s finding that strong majorities of U.S. adults, regardless of party affiliation, believe that all Americans should have a right to affordable health care suggests there may be popular support for a discussion over our preferred path,” the report’s authors wrote.

The survey showed that 36% of those who have health care insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces are pessimistic about their chances of keeping that coverage, compared with 27% of those with Medicaid and 9% of adults with employer-sponsored health benefits.

Among those who lacked confidence about maintaining their coverage, the largest proportion (32%) of respondents believe that they will lose it because the “Trump administration will not carry out the law” and 19% think that they won’t be able to afford it in the future, they said.

Signals of support for this coverage from both [the executive and legislative] branches of government would reassure consumers about their access to health care. Such a shift also would provide a more stable regulatory environment for insurers participating in both the marketplaces and Medicaid,” according to the report.

The Commonwealth Fund’s sixth Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey was conducted by the research firm SSRS between Nov. 2 and Dec. 27, 2017, with responses from 2,410 adults aged 19-64 years. The overall margin of error was ±2.7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

rfranki@frontlinemedcom.com

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