Voters divided on healthcare issues and ACA repeal

Political surveys previewing the U.S. presidential election reveal mixed reactions when it comes to healthcare. President Barack Obama appears to have an edge over opponent Mitt Romney in terms of handling healthcare issues; however, most voters favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

[See also: Obama administration cuts nearly $18B from improper payments]

The Pew Research Center for People and the Press found, by asking who would do a better of job of dealing with healthcare, that Obama leads with 52 percent to Romney’s 39 percent of registered voter respondents particular to that issue.

Answering the question of which politician would do the best job of dealing with Medicare specifically, respondents picked Obama by nearly the same margin, 51 to 38, over Romney.

“Despite the divisive debate over the 2010 health care law, these numbers are similar to September 2008,” Pew wrote in its report, putting that figure at 52 percent for Obama and 31 percent for John McCain.

[See also: ACA rewards states with more funding to help block, bout infectious diseases ]

The citizenry, in fact, remains divided about the health reform law, according to Rasmussen Reports.

“A majority of voters still supports repeal of President Obama’s national healthcare law and believes it will increase the federal deficit and the cost of healthcare,” Rasmussen explained on its Web site.

In conducting a national telephone survey, Rasmussen found that 53 percent of likely U.S. voters favor the ACA repeal Romney promises, compared to the 43 percent opposed – statistics that include 43 percent of respondents indicating that they “strongly favor” repeal against 33 percent identifying themselves as “strongly opposed.”

The Monmouth University Polling Institute gives the edge to Obama on domestic issues including Social Security and Medicare.

“Half of likely voters now trust Obama to handle this issue compared to 42 percent who prefer Romney,” Monmouth pollsters wrote (PDF). “Just one month ago, the two candidates were virtually tied among likely voters on this issue – 46 percent for Obama to 43 percent for Romney.”

Exactly how much impact the polls' findings about healthcare ultimately have on the elections remains to be seen, particularly since jobs and the economy are widely considered the more significant voter issues.

Indeed, perhaps other Pew statistics are telling.

Among the main reasons that voters want a particular candidate to win, 41 percent of respondents back Obama because of issues and positions, and of those 7 percent prioritize healthcare, according to Pew, which added that for Romney supporters 38 percent chose the former Massachusetts governor for issues and positions and, of those, 4 percent cited healthcare as important.

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