Tuesday, December 20, 2016

US Life Expectancy Decreases and Those Who Want the Affordable Care Act Expanded Increases


This month it has been reported that life expectancy in 2015 in the US has decreased for the first time since 1993.  The decrease was from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015.  The reasons for this decrease are unclear though the overall death rate increased by 1.2% last year.  The top causes of death had increased rates except for cancer.  Alzheimer's disease showed the largest increase in mortality.  The study's authors caution that this decrease in life expectancy of 0.1 years (which corresponds to a decrease of 37 days) may be a statistical aberration.



Views of the ACA (CBS News Poll)
Dec 2016
Feb 2015
Working well, keep as is
10%
6%
Good things, but changes needed
63%
60%
Needs to be repealed entirely
25%
32%


One statistic that has changed little in the last 6 years is the level of support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).  The above table shows how views of the ACA have changed over the last year according to a CBS poll conducted this month.  Overall the poll showed that 45% of the public approve of the ACA while 50% do not.  The same respondents were asked what changes to the law were needed.  Only 10% wanted it kept as is (up from 6% last Feb).  The number who wanted changes made to the law increased to 63% from 60% while the number who want it repealed entirely decreased from 32% in 2015 to 25 this month.  The poll did break the numbers down by political party and found that 47% of Republicans wanted changes compared to 78% of Democrats and 61% of independents.  The poll did not specify which changes were needed to the law.

Opinion of ACA (Pew Research)
Nov 30-Dec 5, 2016
Oct 20-25, 2016
Mar 7-11, 2012
Sep 22-Oct 4, 2011
Jan 5-9, 2011
Nov 4-7, 2010
Expand it
39%
40%
33%
31%
35%
30%
Leave it as is
15%
13%
20%
22%
20%
22%
Repeal it
39%
44%
38%
38%
37%
40%
Don’t Know/Refused
7%
4%
9%
9%
8%
8%
Expand + As is
54%
53%
53%
53%
55%
52%
 

Another poll was published this month showing essentially a 48% to 47% approval/disapproval ratio (essentially a tie) for the ACA published by Pew research.  The poll did ask respondents (n=752) what changes they wanted to see to the ACA.  39% said expand it which is virtually unchanged from October but increased from 2012 and 2011 levels by 5 to 9%.  The number who wanted it left as is increased by 2% from October but decreased from 2011 by 5 to 7%.  The number who want it repealed decreased by 5% from October but stayed within the values from 2012 to 2010.  If one adds the % who want it expanded to those who want it left as is we find a consistent majority across the six year period ranging from 54% this month to 52% in Nov 2010.

It is a matter of interpretation exactly what "expand it" means but other polls have found similar results using wording of the question "Is the ACA not Liberal Enough" or "Approve" as is, found similar majorities when the two categories are added.  The conclusion is that a majority of the US public wants universal health care with a growing percentage wanting a better bill.  Such actions are unlikely in the short term in the Federal Government with Trump in the White House (though he once supported single payer) and the GOP controlling Congress.

  **Related Posts**

POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)


The US and Republicans Want Health Care Law Repealed....? 


Health Care and the 2014 Election in Pennsylvania

 

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