July 2, 2021

The mental health crisis is far from over for the Republican Party, but a new poll finds that Americans do not care as much about the issue as they did a decade ago.

The poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, also finds that Republicans are less supportive of the ACA than the public overall.

The survey found that only 36 percent of Republicans said they had “very much” or “quite a lot” confidence in the law, down from 53 percent a decade earlier.

Only 18 percent said they were “somewhat” or very much confident in the ACA.

“Republicans continue to have less confidence in ACA than Democrats, who are more likely to have high levels of confidence,” the survey found.

“While Democrats have more trust in ACA, Republicans are far less likely to say they have high confidence in it,” the Kaiser report continued.

“This may reflect the perception that the ACA has been a failure and that the GOP is more committed to repealing it than Democrats.”

The poll also found that Americans are far more supportive of keeping access to mental health care than they are of cutting funding for it.

A majority of Americans said they want mental health funding increased.

A third said they would support funding cuts if they were needed, compared with 21 percent who said they do not think the ACA needs to be changed.

“It seems clear that Americans, both on and off the Hill, believe that the current ACA is an improvement on the failed 1994 and 2001 Republican plans, and that it is time for Congress to do a little more to help people get the care they need,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“That’s a big shift from a decade and a half ago, when Republicans were more likely than the general public to believe the ACA was a failure.”

In addition to the Kaiser poll, the nonpartisan American Press Association found a number of other recent surveys, all of which show Republicans holding more of a positive view of mental health than the American public.

A Fox News poll conducted in April found that 56 percent of Americans support keeping the ACA in place, compared to 37 percent who oppose.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted earlier this month found that 48 percent of respondents supported keeping the law in place and 51 percent opposed.

A Pew Research Center poll released last month found 57 percent of the public thinks that the country is doing a good job of preventing mental illness and that Republicans have a good track record on that front, with support at 56 percent and disapproval at 44 percent.

But the Kaiser survey finds that just 40 percent of Republican voters say they support keeping mental health coverage in place.

“The public is concerned about mental health, but is not supportive of reducing funding for mental health treatment,” Zandi said.

“On balance, Republicans do not seem to be much more willing to cut funding for services that treat people with mental illness.”