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ObamaCare favorability hits highest level: poll

The Affordable Care Act’s favorability hit a record high in a new poll released Friday, highlighting the shifting political tones around the law. 

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that 55 percent of the public views the health law favorably, the highest level since KFF began polling the question about 10 years ago. Just 37 percent said they view it unfavorably.

ObamaCare was long viewed more unfavorably than favorably, especially during the troubled rollout of the healthcare.gov website in late 2013.

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But that changed with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE’s election in 2016, when favorability began rising amid the Republican push to repeal the law in 2017. 

The health care law has now become a political asset for Democrats, who highlighted Republican repeal attempts to help win back the House in 2018. The law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions have been particularly popular.  

With Trump still backing a lawsuit to overturn the law, Democrats are seeking to repeat that strategy in 2020. 

Republican voters have likewise become less enthusiastic about repealing the law. In 2016, 29 percent of Republican voters listed ObamaCare repeal as their top health care issue. That is now down to just 3 percent. 

As "Medicare for All" moves to the center of the health care debate, 19 percent now list opposition to that plan as their top health care issue, while 24 percent say it is health care costs. 

Republican lawmakers have also shifted their rhetoric to avoid focusing on attacks on the Affordable Care Act or talking about the lawsuit against it. They instead highlight attacks on Medicare for All and ways to lower health costs like reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

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As for Medicare for All, 52 percent of the public favors the idea, the poll finds, but that is less than the 66 percent who favor an optional government health insurance plan.

The public option polls better with independents and Republicans: 26 percent of independents and 27 percent of Republicans favor a public option, while the numbers for full-scale Medicare for All are just 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively. 

Just 12 percent of Democrats only favor Medicare for All. Sixty-two percent favor both Medicare for All and a public option.