Key findings of the AP-NORC poll on health care

AP News
Posted: Mar 30, 2017 3:50 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of the way President Donald Trump is handling health care, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Most oppose key elements of the short-circuited GOP proposal to overhaul President Barack Obama's health care law, including Medicaid cuts and surcharges for people whose coverage lapses.

The poll was conducted over five days before and after House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., withdrew the bill ahead of a planned House vote.

Key findings:

— By a 62 percent to 36 percent margin, most disapprove of the way Trump is handling health care. Ninety percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents and even 31 percent of Republicans disapprove of Trump on the issue, his worst of seven issues tested in the poll.

— Trump's approval rating overall is only slightly better, with 42 percent approving and 58 percent disapproving of his performance so far.

— Americans are likelier to support than oppose President Barack Obama's health care law, 45 percent to 38 percent. That's down slightly since January, when 50 percent supported it.

— Of six changes the GOP bill would have made to health care, five drew more opposition than support. Those included allowing insurers to charge older customers higher premiums than is now allowed (80 percent opposed), surcharges for people whose insurance coverage lapses (70 percent opposed), reducing funding for Medicaid (64 percent opposed) and denying federal funding to Planned Parenthood (56 percent opposed). In addition, more oppose than favor replacing income-based subsidies with age-based subsidies for people buying insurance, 48 percent to 16 percent.

— By a 48 percent to 35 percent margin, more Americans favor than oppose removing the requirement that all Americans have health insurance or pay a fine.

— Among Republicans, majorities favor removing the mandate that all Americans buy insurance (66 percent) and denying funds to Planned Parenthood (54 percent). But most oppose surcharges for people who did not previously have coverage (59 percent) and allowing insurers to charge older Americans more than they can now (74 percent). Republicans are also slightly more likely to oppose than favor cutting Medicaid funding, 43 percent to 35 percent.

— More than half of Americans — 56 percent — are extremely or very concerned about people losing their insurance if the GOP proposal had passed. But they are relatively evenly divided on whether it's the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have insurance. A slim majority — 52 percent — say it is, but nearly as many — 47 percent — say it's not.


The AP-NORC poll of 1,110 adults was conducted March 23-27 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

Interviews were conducted online and using landlines and cellphones.